Iraq aims to finalize the sale of Exxon’s stake in the West Qurna-1 oil field by the end of June even after rival U.S. supermajor Chevron Corp. rejected overtures to buy the position. Basra Oil Co., the state-run company overseeing crude production in the region, may open talks with more companies after Exxon submitted a request to sell its 32.7% stake in January, Director General Khalid Hamza said in an interview. BOC has “no objection” to a Chinese company buying the stake, he said.
“We hoped that Chevron would buy Exxon’s share and be the replacement, but it seems that they didn’t have the desire to be the replacement,” Hamza said. A Chevron spokesperson declined to comment, while an Exxon spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hamza said Iraq is open to companies from outside of the U.S. buying Exxon’s position.
“We have no objection either on PetroChina nor CNOOC, they are our partners already,” Hamza said. “BOC may buy Exxon’s share, or any of the oil ministry’s companies may buy.”