March 17, 2020 / 11:33 AM / 14 days ago

Iraq halts Gharraf oilfield after Petronas evacuated staff -officials

BASRA, Iraq, March 17 (Reuters) - Iraq halted on Tuesday production of around 95,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Gharraf southern oilfield after Malaysia's Petronas evacuated its staff from the field, oil officials said.

Petronas, the operator of Gharraf, took the decision to protect its staff from the spread of the new coronavirus, Iraqi oilfield officials said; adding that the company took the decision without consulting with Iraqi officials in Gharraf.

"We were forced to shut down production because Petronas didn't inform us of the evacuation process," said one oilfield official.

Oil officials said they are working to restore operations at Gharraf on Wednesday. (Reporting by Aref Mohammed in Basra; writing by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by Jason Neely)

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