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Exxon evacuates foreign staff from Iraqi oilfield

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Christian Fernsby |
Exxonmobil
Asia   Exxonmobil

Exxon Mobil has evacuated all of its foreign staff, around 60 people, from Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield and is flying them out to Dubai, a senior Iraqi official and three other sources told Reuters on Saturday.

The evacuation came just days after the United States withdrew non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad, citing a threat from neighboring Iran, which has close ties to Iraqi Shi’ite militia.

Production at the oilfield was not affected by the evacuation and work is continuing normally, overseen by Iraqi engineers, said the chief of Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company which owns the oil field, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar. He added that production remains at 440,000 barrels per day (bpd).

“Exxon Mobil’s evacuation is a precautionary and temporary measure. We have no indication over any dangers, the situation is secure and very stable at the oilfield which is running at full capacity and producing 440,000 bpd,” he said.

“The foreign engineers will provide advice and perform their duties from the company’s Dubai offices and we have no concerns at all,” Jabbar said, adding that production is managed by Iraqi engineers and the foreign staff were there mainly as advisers.


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