Posted: 8 January 2020
Game Over for Exxon Mobil in Iraq?
Rumors have swirled for months about Exxon Mobil looking to exit Iraq, where it operates one of the biggest oil fields, and recent events mean that could now happen sooner rather than later.
Security fears alone have made Exxon’s continued presence in Iraq seem untenable, with Tehran vowing to seek revenge after Washington’s targeted killing of an Iranian general in Baghdad, which also took out Iraq’s top paramilitary leader…
That threat has increased sharply since Friday’s drone strike in Baghdad, with Exxon sticking out as a potential target as the largest commercial US interest in Iraq by far.
“Our assessment is that, having so publicly stated that retaliation will happen, the Iranian regime has to follow through,” says Charles Hollis, managing director of consultancy firm Falanx. “I think there has to be a heightened risk for US companies operating in Iraq.”
It is hard to overstate Exxon’s symbolic importance to the Iraqi oil sector, or the scale of the blow that its departure would represent to the oil ministry and its future production plans.
The West Qurna1 oil field that the company operates…