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Multiple sources are reporting that oil giant ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) intends to leave its flagship oil field in Iraq.
Unnamed diplomats are named as sources for the information and Reuters reported yesterday that an unnamed U.S. official had confirmed that Exxon had told the U.S. State Department of its intent to leave the West Qurna field in southern Iraq.
ExxonMobil signed an agreement nearly three years ago with the Iraq Ministry of Oil to redevelop and expand the West Qurna-1 field. Exxon was the lead contractor with a 60% interest. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A ) and the Iraq government were the other partners.
Recently, Exxon has run up against resistance from the Iraqi government over the company's plan to engage in oil exploration in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Some speculate it wants out of the Qurna field in order to focus on projects in the north of Iraq.