Over 45,000 Iraqi students expected to benefit over the next 20 years

BASRA, Iraq, April 26, 2011 – ExxonMobil Iraq Limited is contributing 1.2 billion Iraqi dinar (US$1 million) to equip petroleum engineering laboratories at the University of Basrah to be used by students seeking careers in Iraq’s oil and gas industry. This grant will also fund faculty and curriculum development under which some 46,000 students are expected to study over the next 20 years.

There is a growing demand for highly skilled Iraqi professionals to work in the oil and gas sector. “With funding from ExxonMobil Iraq Limited, the university will be able to improve significantly the petroleum engineering department’s educational capacity, while supporting the broader objectives of the college of engineering,” said University of Basrah Chancellor Saleh Al-Qernawi.

“A highly skilled technical workforce is crucial to the country’s future success. In parallel, the ability of the university to further develop faculty for a growing student body is the key to preparing the next generation of innovators,” said James Adams, ExxonMobil Iraq vice president. “The ExxonMobil grant will support the university in educating internationally qualified professionals and professors in support of Iraq’s energy priorities.”

The college of engineering at the University of Basrah is focusing on increasing the number of qualified engineers in Iraq, particularly in the southern region of the country. In 2008, it established a department of petroleum engineering.

ExxonMobil Iraq Limited (60% interest) is the lead contractor working with the South Oil Company of Iraq to redevelop and expand the West Qurna I field along with the Oil Exploration Company of Iraq (25% interest) and Shell West Qurna B.V., a Royal Dutch Shell affiliate (15% interest).

ExxonMobil and its affiliates have a long history of supporting education programs from pre-school through higher education in regions around the world, with special emphasis on science and math education.

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