Oil prices jump $2 as foreign oil companies evacuate staff from Iraq

Chart showing the spike in oil prices on May 15 from nearly $70.7 to $72.18. (Supplied)

Oil prices jumped by about $2  a barrel on Wednesday as foreign oil companies began evacuating their employees from Iraq.

ExxonMobil began evacuating its engineers working on its West Qurna 1 field in the southern province of Basra. The decision came after the United States ordered the departure of ‘non-emergency US government employees’ from Iraq.

“US citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians,” the statement from the State Department read.

Separately, Germany and the Netherlands said Wednesday they were halting their training of soldiers in Iraq as tensions rise between neighboring Iran and the United States.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:04 - GMT 11:04