19 Jun – Iraq rocket attack: two injured in Basra compound housing foreign oil companies
Source: The Guardian
Reports Exxon is preparing to evacuate foreign staff after rocket lands in area also used by Shell and Eni.
A rocket has landed in the compound housing the headquarters of several global oil companies, including US giant ExxonMobil, in Iraq’s southern city of Basra, wounding two local workers, police said.
The rocket hit the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters west of the city, police said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
The incident follows attacks on commercial tankers in the Persian Gulf that the US has claimed were carried out by Iran. The government in Tehran denies responsibility.
The United States evacuated hundreds of diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy last month, citing unspecified threats from Iran against US interests in neighbouring Iraq, where Tehran supports some Shi’ite militias.
Wednesday’s incident came just as Exxon staff who were also evacuated after the diplomats’ departure had begun to return to Basra.
A security source said Exxon was again preparing to evacuate about 20 foreign staff immediately.
Oil officials said operations including exports from southern Iraq were not affected by the incidents.
Other companies operating at the site include Shell and the Italian firm Eni.
Police said the rocket was a short-range Katyusha missile that landed 100m from the section of the site used as a residence and operations centre by Exxon.
Burjesia is near the Zubair oilfield operated by Eni.
Brent crude oil futures rose to $62.17 a barrel on Wednesday morning after another surge on Tuesday.