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Gas production from West Qurna field to begin in 6 months

Baghdad ( – The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani, announced on Monday that gas will be produced in the West Qurna field within six months.

Al-Sudani’s remarks took place during a meeting he chaired to discuss plans of the Ministry of Electricity with the attendance of the Oil Minister, Hayan Abdul-Ghani, and the Electricity Minister, Ziyad Ali Fadel, according to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The announcement follows ExxonMobil exit from the West Qurna 1 oilfield in southern Iraq after it turned over its operations to PetroChina as the principal contractor last January.

Since ExxonMobil left the oilfield, PetroChina now owns the biggest stake.

Iraq’s Basra Oil Company (BOC) reached a sale deal last year to purchase 22.7 percent of ExxonMobil’s share in West Qurna 1. Indonesia’s Pertamina purchased the remaining 10 percent of ExxonMobil’s stake, raising its portion to 20 percent, according to Reuters.

One of Iraq’s biggest oil fields, West Qurna is situated 65 kilometers northwest of Basra, north of Rumaila oilfield.

West Qurna is one of the largest oil fields in the world, with estimated recoverable reserves of 43 billion barrels. The field remained off-limits to Western companies until 2009.

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