UK/Dutch Shell Group is seeking to sell its stake in Iraqs Majnoon oil field, according to an official letter signed by the Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi.
The letter, which is dated 23 August and was leaked to media, gives approval for Shell to quit the Majnoon oil field.
Majnoon is a super-giant oil field located near Basra with an estimated 38 billion barrels of oil reserves.
In the letter the oil minister said, We respect your desire and decision to seek an acceptable end of Shell Iraq Petroleum Developments (SIPD) interest in Majnoon.
SIPD is an Iraqi-based company that is owned by Shell.
Shell holds a 45 per cent interest in Majnoon, and currently operates under a technical service contract that expires in 2030.
Petronas, Malaysias national oil company, holds a 30 per cent stake in the field, while the Iraqi government holds the remaining 25 per cent.
Production from Majnoon is currently around 235,000 barrels a day.