A rocket attack has injured two workers at a compound housing global oil companies.
A security source said Exxon was again preparing to evacuate about 20 foreign staff immediately.
Attacks on energy facilities, including a Saudi Arabian pipeline and several oil tankers, as well as a US military buildup are stoking fears that the Middle East may be heading toward another conflict.
Concerns are growing among Iraqi and Western officials over the potential for the country to be drawn into a standoff between the United States and Iran, after the Trump administration blamed Tehran for attacks on two tankers in the Persian Gulf. "A quite considerable ratcheting of tensions will be required to drive prices higher", according to BloombergNEF.
An Iraqi intelligence officer said Wednesday that 40 workers for the energy giant Exxon Mobil were being evacuated from an oil-drilling site in southern Iraq after they came under rocket fire, amid increasing attacks on USA interests in the country. Tehran denies it was involved.
Police earlier said two Iraqi workers were among those wounded. "We've used them all to say 'hands-off, don't come after our forces, '" Selva said.
Exxon had begun returning staff to Iraq, however, before Wednesday's incident.
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The officer told The Associated Press that security reinforcements have been deployed to the site after a rocket hit before dawn Wednesday near the location of the Iraqi workers, wounding three.
Iraq, which has enjoyed relative calm after the Islamic State insurgency receded there in 2017, has suffered a spate of low-level attacks in recent weeks.
In May, the US evacuated nonessential diplomatic staff from Iraq.
It happened at the Burjesia residential and operations headquarters, west of the city of Basra.
ExxonMobil likewise had moved its foreign staff out of Basra's West Qurna 1 oilfield in May. The region is responsible for the bulk of Iraq's crude output.
-With assistance from Dan Murtaugh and Abbas Al Lawati.