ExxonMobil evacuates staff from Iraq following rocket fire

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Rocket fire on Wednesday June 19 near the site of ExxonMobil’s operation in Iraq, has triggered an evacuation of the US oil major’s staff, Reuters reports.

According to Reuters, a rocket hit a site in southern Iraq which is used by foreign oil companies, including ExxonMobil, wounding three people.

The article said that there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack near Iraq’s southern city of Basra. It said that this is the fourth time in a week that rockets have struck near U.S. installations.

“According to our sources, the team (that launched the rocket) is made up of more than one group and were well trained in missile launching,” Reuters quotes a security source as saying.

“Abbas Maher, mayor of the nearby town of Zubair, said he believed Iran-backed groups had specifically targeted Exxon to ‘send a message’ to the United States.

Tehran has denied any involvement in the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. However tensions between Washington and Tehran have reached a new pitch as a result of recent events in the region.

ExxonMobil and its joint venture partners HESS and CNOOC Nexen have made 13 discoveries in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana and are set to commence oil production in early 2020 at a rate of 120,000 barrels per day.

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