Employees walk past flames rising from the burning of excess natural gas at the Bin Omar natural gas station, Basra on January 12, 2017. (AFP)

May 18, 2019

Exxon Mobil has evacuated all its foreign staff members out of Iraq’s West Qurna 1 oilfield and is flying them out to Dubai, three sources told Reuters on Saturday.

Production at the oilfield was not affected by the evacuation and work there is under way normally and being undertaken by Iraqi engineers, Iraqi oil officials said.

Staff were evacuated over several phases late on Friday and early on Saturday, either straight to Dubai or to the main camp housing foreign oil company employees in Basra province.

Those in the camp are en route to the airport now, the three sources — an employee at a security company contracted by Exxon, an Iraqi oil official, and a staff member of a foreign oil company — said.

However, Iraq’s South Oil Company chief said on Saturday that there was no indication of danger and stressed that the situation was stable.

The evacuation comes amid rising tensions between the US and Iran.

Reuters

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.