By Raheem Salman
BAGHDAD, March 14 Indonesia's state-owned oil
and gas firm Pertamina is in talks to buy 10-20
percent of Exxon Mobil's stake in Iraq's West Qurna-1
oilfield, Indonesia's Chief Economic Minister said on Thursday.
The development of the $50 billion West Qurna-1 project has
been in question since last year, when Exxon offered to sell its
stake after contracts it signed with the autonomous Kurdistan
region riled Baghdad, which rejects them as illegal.
Indonesian minister Hatta Rajasa confirmed that Pertamina is
interested in buying into the project. It has begun negotiations
for a possible 10 to 20 percent stake, he said at a news
conference in Baghdad.
Sources have said Exxon is considering selling part of its
60 percent stake in West Qurna-1 to PetroChina
, the listed arm of China National Petroleum Corp
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has offered Exxon
sweeter contract terms to keep it operating in the south, on
condition that the U.S. oil giant gives up its Kurdish deals,
industry sources say.
Thursday's news conference also confirmed the signing of a
memorandum of understanding that Iraq is to supply Indonesia
with 35,000 barrels of oil per day.