BAGHDAD, Iraq: Two of Iraq’s largest oil producers – BP and Russia’s Lukoil – hope to sell their assets in the country, Iraqi oil minister Ihsan Ismael has said.
Ismael reports that Lukoil notified him that it hopes to sell its stake in the 13 billion barrel West Qurna 2 field. Also, BP is looking for a buyer for its rights in Rumaila, Iraq’s single largest producing field with a capacity of nearly 1.5 million barrels per day.
BP, among Iraq’s most important partners, has a 47.63 percent share in the Rumaila oil field. It operates in the field next to China’s state-owned CNPC and Iraqi state-oil marketer Somo.
BP has been in discussions to create a joint venture with CNPC, sources say, though it still needs approval from the oil ministry.
Lukoil has sought to renegotiate its contract for the Yamama formation at West Qurna 2, as part of plans to double overall production capacity to 800,000 barrels per day by 2025.
The loss of BP and Lukoil would be the latest blow to Baghdad’s development plans. Additionally, ExxonMobil, which has a 32.7 percent interest in the 500,000 barrels per day West Qurna 1 field, has said it hopes to sell its stake for $400 million, Ismael said. He called that price “very cheap”.
“The current investment environment in Iraq is inappropriate to keep major investors,” he said. “All major investors are either looking for another market or for another partner. We, as an investment environment, are inappropriate for major partners.”