State-owned energy firm China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is the favorite to replace US oil and gas company Exxon Mobil (XOM.NYSE, XONA.FRA) as the service rights owner of Iraq’s West Qurna-1 oil field, Reuters reported. CNPC unit Petrochina (PTR.NYSE, 0857.HKG, 601857.SH) is in talks for Exxon’s 60% share in the US$50 billion West Qurna-1 facilities, for which there are competing bidders, Iraqi and Chinese sources said. Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A.NYSE, RDS.B.NYSE, RDSA.LON, RDSB.LON, RDSA.AMS) is a minority partner. Exxon is selling its holding in the southern oilfield following disputes with the Baghdad government over exploration contracts in the northern autonomous Kurdistan region. A senior Iraqi official said the country has no objection to CNPC taking on a bigger position. The move would give Chinese companies 32% of the oil reserves Iraq has awarded in service contracts to non-domestic companies, up from 21% now and more than any other country.