Business_news US oil companies evacuate workers from southern Iraq in the wake of the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani


  • US oil workers are fleeing the Iraqi city of Basra following the assassination of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, the oil ministry said in a statement on Friday. 
  • ExxonMobil, a US oil major, operates in the region, as does BP. US company Chevron has operations in the northern Kurdistan Region. 
  • S&P Globalreported Fridaythat ExxonMobil, the lead contractor in a long-term deal with the state oil company South Oil Company, was evacuating 17 American workers. The company declined to comment on staffing. 
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Foreign oil companies operating in Iraq are evacuating American employees from the oil city of Basra, followingthe assassination of top Iranian General, Qassem Soleimani, the oil ministry said in a statement on Friday. Reuters reports that the foreign workers are leaving Basra by plane. 

US-based ExxonMobil operates in the region, as does the British energy giant BP. Chevron, another American company, has operations in the northern Kurdistan Region, a spokesperson said.

ExxonMobil declined to comment on staffing, and Exxon staff in Basra reached through LinkedIn did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

“We are closely monitoring the situation,” an ExxonMobil spokesperson told business Insider. “ExxonMobil has programs and measures in place to provide security to protect its people, operations and facilities. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors at all of our facilities around the world.”

BP and Chevron declined to comment on staffing.

ExxonMobil’s affiliate, ExxonMobil Iraq Limited, is the lead contractor in a project to develop West Qurna I field, one of Iraq’s largest oilfields, in partnership with Iraq’s South Oil Company. The field was producing 465,000 barrels per dayin June. 

S&P Global reportedearlier Friday that ExxonMobil evacuated 17 employees from the West Qurna I field. If confirmed, this recent departure follows a larger-scale evacuation in May, when the oil giant temporarily relocated around 60 foreign staff from the oilfield to Dubai, per Reuters.

The May evacuation was in response to the US withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Baghdad, citing a security threat posed by Iran. The staff returned to the oilfield after the Iraq government agreed to increase security. 

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, surged in the wake of the strike — and ExxonMobil stock went up — though officials said the relocation of US workers would not impact operations, productions, or exports. 

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