Royal Dutch Shell announced on January 15, 2018, that the company has agreed to sell its 20% stake in Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield to Japan’s Itochu.
The West Qurna 1 is one of the largest oilfields in Iraq. It is operated by Exxon Mobil, currently produces around 405,000 barrels per day.
Shell declined to comment further on its footprint in the Middle East beyond confirming its exit from the West Qurna oil field. The company said it is still working to gain necessary approvals for the sale from the Iraqi government.
The company is also expected to give up its holding in Iraq's Majnoon oil field later this year, the field is operated in partnership with Petronas (30%) and the Iraqi state oil company Missan Oil (25%)..
«We have definitely not turned our back on the region, far from it,» said Shell CEO Ben van Beurden in November 2017, referring to the Middle East. But he added that projects such as Majnoon «are increasingly less strategic in our portfolio.»