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Chinese oil companies fill void in Iraq

As major Western oil companies reconsider their positions in Iraq, China is seizing the opportunities offered by their departure.
Iraqi workers walk at the Halfaya oil field near the southern city of Amara on Dec. 12, 2009.

Western oil companies have started to pull out of central and southern Iraq and are being replaced by Chinese companies following terrorist attacks against facilities and reports of extortion from tribes, militias and bureaucratic officials in state institutions. 

Meanwhile, Iraq has halted its plans to increase investments in developing oil fields due to a lack of demand in global markets. This comes as Iraq and 22 other member states of the OPEC+ group agreed Sunday to increase oil production by 400,000 barrels per day beginning next month.

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