The Russian oil company Lukoil and its British branch counterpart BP want to withdraw from Iraq. According to the Iraqi oil minister, the concerns are trying to dispose of assets in the country.
Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said that Lukoil has sent him a message indicating that the company wants to transfer his assets in the country to Chinese companies. Then it is the Russian interest in the West Qurna-2 field. BP, in turn, would like to withdraw from the giant Rumaila field.
According to the minister, the current investment climate in Iraq is unsuitable for maintaining large companies. Jabbar, who appeared before a parliamentary committee last week, also said that the American ExxonMobil wants to sell its stake in West Qurna-1.
Iraq pumps up about 4 million barrels of crude oil a day. That is more than any other member of the Organization of oil exporting Countries (OPEC), apart from Saudi Arabia. However, international energy companies have been deterred in recent years by strict contractual conditions, late payments and political instability in the country.
There have also been several protests over the past week due to power outages. This led to the resignation of the Iraqi minister of electricity. The government stated that oil production was not affected by the problems with the power grid.