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ExxonMobil evacuates staff from northern Iraq

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Taking no chances, ExxonMobil conducted a major evacuation of staff from Iraq. Sunni militant advances threaten oil production and operations in northern Iraq.

BP evacuated 20% of its staff, according to Reuters.

Oilfield operators such as Schlumberger, ENI, Baker Hughes, and Wetherford have chosen not to evacuate for now. Chevron and Marathon continue to operate. The Sunni advance has not yet affected Iraqi government control in the south where these companies’ operations are located.

The Kurds are defending oil production in the north near Kirkuk.

Dhiya Jarrar, head of South Oil, Iraq’s state-run oil company, reported the 2.7 barrel a day export level for June would be unaffected by recent developments. Those ‘recent developments’ threaten operations in the north, where militants attempted to seize Baiji Refinery, more than they do in the south.

The implications for oil production at the moment appear limited.

BP’s CEO Bob Dudley's Newsweek comment reflected somewhat less threat to oil production in southern Iraq. The market responded with little change from $114 for Brent crude on the New York Stock Exchange today.