The Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which is one of the major investors in
the Iraqi oil sector, said, according to a source early today, Wednesday, that it has withdrawn about 20 employees from an Iraqi oil field west of Qurna-1, which is run
by the American Exxon Mobil Company with increasing tensions in the region.
The source told Reuters that the company made this step on Sunday, which passed after the killing of the Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in a US strike with
The source added that the Chinese state-owned company kept its employees in two, other fields of Iraqi oil.
It is noteworthy that Iran responded with missile attacks against the US-led coalition forces in Iraq today, which raised fears of an expansion of the conflict in the region.
“CNBC withdrew its employees from West Qurna field on January 5, after a decision by Exxon as the operator, immediately after Soleimani was killed by US forces,” the source said.
ExxonMobil has not yet responded to this decision.
It is noteworthy that Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia and pumps about 4.6 million barrels per day.
The deterioration in the Iraqi security situation poses a major threat to foreign companies operating in the oil and gas sector “The crews in the Rumaila and Halfaya areas
keep the company’s headquarters informed of developments in the security situation daily.
There are no evacuation plans yet,” the source added.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said that about 162 of his country's citizens are in Iraq and that the majority of them are employees of the state-owned Petronas Oils
and gases Company, adding that the government of his country is monitoring the situation and its developments.
“We have given instructions to neighboring embassies to be alerted in case of any evacuation,” he said.
An official at CNOOC, the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation, said his company, which produces from the Maysan oil field in southeast Iraq, does not have current plans