From the Field

Iraq West Qurna-1

Shell to exit Iraq project

THE HAGUE, March 9, 2017 – In its annual report released on Thursday, Shell said that its 20% stake in the ExxonMobil-operated West Qurna-1 field was “subject to an ongoing sales process.”


At the end of November 2016, international media reported Shell was considering the sale of its Iraqi assets as part of an ongoing, USD 30-billion divestment plan. Citing industry sources, Reuters said the company’s deliberation was driven by the headwinds Shell has had in Iraq.

The report prompted a rare reaction from the company, saying it was committed “to working with our partners in Iraq to redevelop the country’s energy infrastructure.” It added that it would emphasise its “2017 growth strategy at Majnoon, the Basrah Gas Company [BGC] and through the progression of the Nebras [petrochemicals] project.”

However, in February 2017, Shell’s Upstream Director Andy Brown was quoted as saying that a future sale of interests in Iraq could not be ruled out, as all the company’s assets “are potentially for sale” if the price is right.

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