CNPC Keen on, but Wary of, Big Iraqi Role

January 25, 2013

According to a UPI report, Chinese officials said they were interested in playing a greater role in Iraq's oil sector but expressed reservations regarding Baghdad's political situation.

The Chinese National Petroleum Co. has stakes in three Iraqi oil projects, which have a combined output of about 1.6 million barrels of oil per day. An industry official working in close association with CNPC told newspaper China Daily on condition of anonymity that the company was also interested in taking a stake in the West Qurna I project.

"It's just too sensitive to release anything now," the official said.

U.S. supermajor Exxon Mobil is keen to sell its interest in West Qurna to take on a greater role in fields in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. The Kurdish and central Baghdad governments are at odds over oil laws, however, and Baghdad said it considered unilateral deals there illegal.

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