Iraq asks Exxon Mobil to immediately return its staff to the Qurna field
The Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban strongly criticized the decision of Exxon Mobil Company to evacuate its staff from the Qurna oil field in Basra in the south of the country, demanding the immediate return of the field.
In a letter to the US company, the oil minister and the Iraqi deputy prime minister for energy stressed in a statement issued on Sunday that this decision is “unacceptable and unjustified,” stressing the stability of security and social conditions in southern Iraq “like other cities of Iraq.”
The minister said that the decision of the US company to withdraw a number of employees from the southern field temporarily or precaution, despite the small numbers “has nothing to do with the security situation in the oil fields in southern Iraq or threats .. But it is for political reasons, as we think, attributed to the state of political tensions Which is witnessing the region. ”
Al-Ghadhban pointed out that the other international companies are working “freely, safely and stable” on the development of oil fields in the territory of Iraq, without any problems or justifications that require such measures, warning that the evacuation of ExxonMobil employees to Dubai may lead to ” About the situation in Iraq, and this is what we do not accept at all. ”
The minister said he sent a letter to US company officials asking them to explain the procedure and return to work under a long-term contract to develop the West Qurna field.
Al-Ghadhban stressed that the Iraqi government and the Ministry of Oil are working to provide the highest levels of security, technical and social stability and to create conditions and security environment suitable for all companies operating in its territory.
The minister said he planned to hold a meeting with Exxon Mobil officials this week, at their request, to discuss their decision, as well as the integrated South project, which was initially agreed upon between the two sides.
Earlier this week, the United States decided to withdraw non-essential staff from its embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil.