Iraq announced a $318 million contract with a unit of Turkish Petroleum to drill 45 wells in the supergiant Rumaila oilfield as the country strives to regain and even surpass pre-war production levels.
Britain’s BP and China’s China National Petroleum Corp signed a 20-year contract to develop the Rumaila field in southern Iraq, which alone has more than 17 billion barrels of crude oil reserves.
The announcement this week concerned an award to TPIC, which, along with Halliburton and Weatherford International, is also bidding on a separate contract to drill another 56 wells in Rumaila, according to news agency reports.
Separately, local media reported that Iraq has broken off talks with Nippon Oil over an $8 billion contract to develop the Nassiriya oilfield, which has some 5 billion barrels in proven reserves.
This field was kept out of the round of international auctions and there was no immediate word about what would happen next to develop the field.
The efforts to ramp up oil production in Iraq are taking place as the country faces elections in March that will demonstrate to foreign investors just how ready the country is to take charge of its future.