November 06, 2009

USA Declares Victory In Iraq

Exxon clinches Iraq oil deal
Exxon Mobil on Thursday became the first US company to win a contract since Iraq's oil industry was nationalised almost 40 years ago, further expanding the role of foreign nations in the industry.

The contract to develop West Qurna 1, the war-torn country's second largest field, will boost its production to 2.325 million barrels per day (bpd), said Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani.

"The companies will spend $US50 billion ($A54.82 billion) - 25 billion on operations and a further 25 billion in development," he said, referring to the winning bid, in which Exxon holds an 80-per cent share and Anglo-Dutch firm Shell the balance.

The contract was announced 48 hours after Baghdad completed a deal with Britain's BP and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) to almost triple production at the giant Rumaila oilfield - Iraq's biggest - in what is also a $US50 billion ($A54.82 billion) investment.

Both fields are located in southern Iraq, home to most of the nation's oil.

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