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Exxon Evacuates Foreign Workers From Iraqi Oil Field

South Oil Company chief Ihsan Abdul Jabbar speaks during an interview with Reuters in Basra, May 18, 2019.

ExxonMobil has evacuated its foreign workers from an oil field in the southern Iraqi province of Basra amid heightened tensions in the Middle East.

A senior Iraqi official and three other sources told Reuters the employees were evacuated on Friday and early Saturday to Dubai or to a housing complex in Basra province. An Iraqi oil official also confirmed the evacuation with Associated Press.

The chief of Iraq's state-owned South Oil Company, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, said the evacuation was "a precautionary and temporary measure" and that there was "no indication" of danger.

Heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. have fueled concerns of a potential conflict in the Mideast region.

The U.S. recently bolstered its military presence in the area and increased economic sanctions against Tehran, accusing it of threatening U.S. troops and the country's interests.

Washington withdrew non-emergency staff members from its embassy in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, apparently due to concerns over perceived threats from neighboring Iran.

There was no immediate comment from ExxonMobil, which is headquartered in the southern U.S. city of Irving, Texas.