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Exxon pulls out of 3 exploration blocks in Kurdistan: Iraq Oil Report

Exxon

Exxon still has interest in three exploration blocks in the Kurdistan region. EPA photo by Justin Lane.

Exxon walked away from Qara Hanjeer, Arbat East, and Betwata blocks

Dec 6 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil has pulled out of half of the six exploration blocks it operated in the Kurdistan region, the Iraq Oil Report reported.

The oil company has walked away from its operations in the Qara Hanjeer, Arbat East, and Betwata blocks, the magazine reported, citing Kurdistan’s Minister of Natural Resources Ashti Hawrami and Exxon spokeswoman Lauren Kerr.

“Some companies didn’t meet contractual deadlines and according to the contract had to relinquish their areas,” the minister was quoted as saying.

Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company after Exxon Mobil, relinquished its interest in the Rovi block north of Erbil at the end of 2015 but continued to test wells in the Sarta area.

Since 2014, international oil companies have renounced a total of 19 exploration blocks in Kurdistan, according to an analysis by the Iraq Oil Report.

In August, Iraqi state oil firm SOMO blacklisted three tankers involved in shipping crude from Kurdistan, swelling the dispute over oil revenue-sharing between Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional government.

(Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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