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    BP eyes spin-off of Iraqi business: WSJ


BP is targeting a 40% reduction in its oil and gas output over the next decade.

by: Joseph Murphy

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BP eyes spin-off of Iraqi business: WSJ

BP is considering the spin-off of its activities in Iraq into a standalone company, sources told the Wall Street Journal on June 11, as the oil major pivots towards low-carbon investment and away from conventional oil operations.

The newly separated business would control BP's stake in Iraq's Rumaila oilfield, one of the world's largest. It would be jointly owned by BP and its current partner at the site, China's CNPC, and hold its own debt, separate from BP, and distribute income through dividends. 

For the manoeuvre to go ahead, BP will first need the approval of the state-owned Basra Oil Co and State Organisation for Marketing of Oil, which are also investors at Rumaila, according to WSJ.

BP has the most radical energy transition strategy among the oil and majors. It is targeting a 40% reduction in oil and gas output over the next decade, which it plans to achieve through divestments and letting assets naturally decline.

The UK major recently signed a memorandum of understanding to merge its upstream portfolio in Angola with that of Italy's Eni, to form a self-funded venture. It is reportedly considering a similar move in Algeria.