Exxon, Shell Sign Initial Pact for Iraq West Qurna-1 Field

(Dow Jones Newswires), Nov. 5, 2009

A consortium led by U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC Thursday signed an initial 20-year agreement with Iraq to develop the West Qurna-1 oil field, an Iraqi oil official said.

The Exxon-Shell team beat two rival consortia to win the license, one led by Russia's OAO Lukoil Holdings, the other led by China National Petroleum Corp., or CNPC.

The initial agreement signed Thursday will be sent to the Iraqi Council of Ministers for approval before being finalized, the official said.

West Qurna-1, with estimated proven oil reserves of 8.6 billion barrels, was one of eight oil and gas fields that was put up for auction in June this year. At the time, only one license was awarded. That was for Rumaila, Iraq's largest producing oil field.

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