ExxonMobil evacuated about 30 foreign engineers from Basra, Iraq, as a “temporary precautionary measure,” the government-owned Basra Oil Company said Saturday.
The staff members were evacuated to Dubai and there are “no indicators that companies operating the oil fields are facing any security threats,” the Basra Oil Company said.
The move will not affect production, project development or planned maintenance in the West Qurna oil field, it added.
The statement did not give details on what prompted the evacuation of the 30 workers.
The oil field is jointly run by ExxonMobil and the Iraqi company, and employs 1,700 people including Iraqis and foreigners, the Basra Oil Company said.
ExxonMobil told CNN Business in an email “as a matter of practice, we don’t share specifics related to operational staffing at our facilities.”
“ExxonMobil has programs and measures in place to provide security to protect its people, operations and facilities. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and contractors at all of our facilities around the world,” spokesperson Julie L. King said.
Earlier this week, the US State Department ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees from Iraq amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran, Iraq’s neighbor to the east. Tensions have soared between Washington and Tehran since Washington scrapped a landmark nuclear deal with Iran that briefly brought an end to its economic and diplomatic isolation.
The Trump administration reimposed stringent sanctions on Iran, including on its enormous oil industry.
Recently, the Trump administration has accused Tehran of threats against US troops and interests.
Iranian leaders have denied Iranian involvement in attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and on a Saudi oil station, and they charged that Washington was unnecessarily escalating tensions with Tehran.