Exclusive: Shell to withdraw from Iraq's Majnoon oilfield - Iraqi oil officials

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to sell Iraq’s Majnoon oilfield and the oil ministry has started preparations to finalize its exit, according to an oil ministry letter and oil officials.

A letter signed by Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi and dated Aug. 23 and directed to Shell Iraq Petroleum Development gave approval for Shell to quit Majnoon, an oilfield near Basrah which started production in 2014.

“We respect your desire and decision to seek an acceptable end of Shell Iraq Petroleum Development SIPD’s interest in Majnoon,” the oil ministry letter said, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. SIPD is Shell’s local unit.

Three Iraqi oil officials and an Iraqi senior engineer working with Shell in Majnoon confirmed the letter’s authenticity.

A Shell spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

In November, industry sources had told Reuters that Shell was considering selling out of its oil fields in Iraq as part of its global $30 billion asset disposal program.

Shell is the operator of the giant Majnoon field near Basrah in southern Iraq which started production in 2014.

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