Eni to Award Oilfield Drilling Contracts

Italian oil major Eni is expected to award a tender to drill more than 100 new oil wells at its Zubair oil field in southern Iraq in August, according to a report from Dow Jones.

"We received the bids and we are in the process of assessing them," an executive told the news agency.

Several well-known oil services companies submitted offers, including Weatherford International Ltd (WFT), Schlumberger AS (SLBS.VI) and Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. among others, the executive said. The wells will be drilled over three years.

On Tuesday ENI reported that it will be "[reinforcing] the cooperation between Eni, the [Egyptian] Ministry of Petroleum, and the two Egyptian state oil and gas companies, EGPC and EGAS".

Earlier in June, Eni said it would drill 12 new wells and 'overwork' five others this year to boost output by 10%, according to its initial plan. The field, with 6.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, is currently producing 183,000 barrels a day.

Eni, in partnership with Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. (Kogas), set a plateau target of 1.2 million bpd for Zubair to be reached in 2016.

The consortium won the right to develop the field at Iraq's first postwar licensing auction last year. The license for the field wasn't awarded at the auction in June, but a deal was reached in January this year following subsequent negotiations.

Eni has a 32.81% stake in the venture, while Occidental holds a 23.44% stake, Kogas 18.75% and Iraq's state-run Missan Oil Co. holds the remaining 25%.

(Sources: Dow Jones, ENI)

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