Baghdad [Iraq]: American multinational oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil announced on Saturday that 30 of its foreign engineers have been evacuated from the West Qurna 1 oil field in Iraq’s Basra.
A statement issued by the company, however, said: “(There are) no indicators that companies operating the oil fields are facing any security threats.”
The evacuations began on Friday and continued until Saturday. While some of the engineers were moved to UAE’s Dubai, the others were placed in the company’s main headquarters in Basra.
ExxonMobil has labelled the move as a “temporary precautionary measure”, according to CNN. The company’s work in the oil field has not been affected in the light of the operation.
The evacuation comes when diplomatic tensions are high between neighbouring Iran and the United States. Washington refused to extend sanction waivers to eight countries importing oil from Iran, along with listing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO).
In retaliation, Iran designated the US Central Command (CENTCOM) as a terrorist group.
The US has since increased its military presence in the region, citing the threat of an attack from Iran.