Reuters: Al-Kazemi’s Government Seeks To Keep Western Companies In Iraq And Ban Chinese Companies

Reuters: Al-Kazemi’s Government Seeks To Keep Western Companies In Iraq And Ban Chinese Companies

05/17/2022 | 4:34 PM

Reuters - Al-Kazemis Government Seeks To Keep Western Companies In Iraq And Ban Chinese CompaniesInformation / translation.

A Reuters report revealed, on Tuesday, that the Iraqi Oil Ministry has thwarted, since last year, three deals that would have given Chinese companies more control over its oil fields and lead to a mass exodus of major international oil companies that Baghdad wants to invest in its dilapidated economy.

The report, which was translated by the “Information” agency, stated that, “Since the beginning of 2021, the plans of the Russian Lukoil Company and the American ExxonMobil to sell stakes in the main fields to Chinese companies backed by the state were thwarted as a result of interventions from the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, while there was also a share sale to a Chinese company, one of the The many options that BP is considering, but Iraqi officials have convinced it to stay in Iraq for the time being, people familiar with the matter said.

He added, “Seven oil officials and Iraqi executives in companies operating in Iraq said in interviews that the Iraqi government and officials in state-run companies are concerned that the increased integration of fields in the hands of Chinese companies may accelerate the migration of Western oil companies, while three people familiar with the matter said. On the matter, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, with the support of state oil company officials, dissuaded Lukoil last year from selling a stake in one of the country’s largest fields, West Qurna 2, to the Chinese state-owned Sinopec.

And the report continued, “Iraqi officials intervened last year to prevent Chinese companies from buying the US Exxon Mobil share in the West Qurna First field and to persuade the British BP to stay in Iraq instead of transferring its interests in the giant Rumaila oil field to a Chinese company.”

And the report indicated that “the Iraqi Oil Ministry did not respond to requests to comment on the deals or the minister’s role in any interventions, while two government officials said that the government was concerned that Chinese hegemony could make Iraq less attractive for investment from other places, while an Iraqi official said he refused to disclose. About his identity, “We do not want the Iraqi energy sector to be described as an energy sector led by China, and this position is agreed upon by the government and the Ministry of Oil.”

It is noteworthy that “China is the largest investor in Iraq, and Baghdad was the largest beneficiary last year of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing, as it received 10.5 billion dollars in financing for infrastructure projects, including a power station and an airport.” finished/ 25 z