ExxonMobil (XOM) Iraq Projects Still Looming in Uncertainty

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Per the Iraqi Oil Ministry, the country is yet to reach an agreement with ExxonMobil CorporationXOM on a multi-billion dollar project aimed at boosting yield from several southern oilfields.

Iraq will award multibillion-dollar projects that would comprise construction of oil pipelines, storage facilities and seawater supply facility to insert water from the Gulf into reservoirs to boost production.

In October 2017, the Iraqi government had stated that it was in final talks with ExxonMobil for the development of this project. However, no announcements were made since then.

The Iraqi Ministry is unwilling to wait for ExxonMobil's decision beyond February 2018, after which, it will award the project to other companies.

ExxonMobil operates in Iraq through two of its affiliates - ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd. (EMIL) and ExxonMobil Kurdistan Region of Iraq Ltd. (EMKRIL).

Among the notable projects of ExxonMobil in Iraq is the redevelopment of the West Qurna I field in southern Iraq. In 2013, the company also inked six Production Sharing Contracts covering more than 848,000 acres in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

About ExxonMobil

TX-based ExxonMobil has a leading position in the energy industry owing to the size and diversity of its asset base, both in terms of business mix and geographical footprint. With a stable cash position, the company's balance sheet is one of the best in the industry.

However, the stock has declined 7% year to date, underperforming the industry 6.4% growth.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

As a result, ExxonMobil carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A few better-ranked players in the energy sector are Holly Energy Partners, LP HEP , SunCoke Energy Inc SXC and Northern Oil and Gas Inc NOG , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .

Holly Energy Partners, owner and operator of refined product pipelines and terminals, delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 57.14% in the preceding quarter.

SunCoke Energy produces metallurgical coke in the United States. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 113.52% in the last four quarters.

Northern Oil and Gas, based in Minnetonka, MN, is an independent energy company. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 175.00% in the trailing four quarters.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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