BP has pulled out of Iraq’s giant Kirkuk oilfield after its $100 million exploration contract expired with no agreement on the field’s expansion, dealing a fresh blow to Iraq’s hopes to increase its oil output, three sources told Reuters.
The move comes as Western energy companies reassess their operations in Iraq amid political turmoil following months of anti-government protests and a flare-up in tensions between the United States and Iran in the country.
BP informed Iraqi authorities last month that it was pulling its staff out of the oilfield in the north of the country after its 2013 service contract expired at the end of 2019, the sources familiar with the matter said.
A senior source at Iraq’s North Oil Company (NOC), which overseas the Kirkuk operations, confirmed BP’s withdrawal.
“The results of its field study for Kirkuk oilfield development have been handed over to the North Oil Company and unfortunately it was below expectations ... at least for us,” the official said.
“It’s very obvious study results were not encouraging for BP to extend its operations,” he added.
The Iraqi government did not reply to a request for comment.