Iraq Official: Exxon Seeks Exit Deal This Year

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BAGHDAD- An Iraqi official says Exxon Mobil expects to reach a deal by year's end to sell its stake in a major oil field in the country's south.

Faisal Abdullah, who is spokesman for Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said Friday that the Irving, Texas-based oil giant has reached out to companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil, BP, CNPC and Eni about its stake in the 8.6 billion barrel West Qurna Phase 1 project.

Exxon declined to comment.

The other companies had no public comment or could not be reached. Russia's Interfax news agency quoted a Lukoil official saying it has received an offer from Exxon and hasn't yet made a decision.

Exxon upset Baghdad last year when it agreed to hunt for oil in Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region.