Market Overview

The 5 Biggest Oil Fields In Conflict Zones

The 5 Biggest Oil Fields In Conflict Zones

This week, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) reported the discovery of a massive new oilfield in offshore Nigeria that could contain up to one billion barrels of oil. On the surface, the Owowo discovery seems like great news for Exxon and its shareholders, but a number of market analysts have expressed skepticism about the accessibility of the oil.

Since the beginning of 2015, there have been nearly 15,000 deaths in Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad related to the Boko Haram insurgency, and it may be difficult for Exxon to set up a major operation at the new Nigeria location due to the ongoing conflicts.

The Owowo isn’t the only massive global oilfield located in a country currently engaged in a major conflict. Here’s a look at the five largest oilfields in conflict-torn countries:

Top 5 Oilfields In Conflict Zones

1. Cantarell Field, Mexico.

In 2015 and 2016, there have been nearly 15,000 deaths in Mexico related to the ongoing Mexican Drug War. The Cantarell Field is about 50 miles offshore in the Bay of Campeche. It’s operated by state-owned Pemex, and it holds an estimated 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

2. Ku-Maloob-Zaap, Mexico.

The Ku-Maloob-Zaap is the most productive oilfield in all of Mexico. It’s located about 65 miles offshore in the Bay of Campeche. It’s operated by Pemex, and it currently generated more than 850,000 barrels of oil per day.

3. Manjoon Field, Iraq.

Since the beginning of 2015, there have been more than 37,000 deaths in the ongoing Iraq War. The Manjoon oil field is located near Basra, Basra Govemorate in southern Iraq. Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE: RDS-A) (NYSE: RDS-B) owns a 45 percent stake in the field, while Petronas and the Iraqui Ministry of Oil hold the remaining interest. The field holds an estimated 11 billion–20 billion barrels of oil.

4. Kirkuk Field, Iraq.

The Kirkuk Field is located near Kirkuk, Iraq. The Iraq Petroleum Company began production at the field in 1934, but the field was seized by the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2014. The field holds an estimated 8.5 billion barrels of oil.

5. Shaikan Sheikh Adi Field, Iraqi Kurdistan.

The Shaikan Sheikh Adi Field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq contains 4 billion–6 billion barrels of oil. The field is operated by Gulf Keystone Petroleum.

Disclosure: The author is long RDS-B.

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