Reuters, citing "industry sources familiar with the matter", reports that U.S. oil major ExxonMobil and its partners have awarded a contract to oil services firm Schlumberger to drill 10 wells in Iraq's West Qurna 1 oilfield.
The contract award was finalised a few days ago but a final contract is yet to be signed by Schlumberger, the sources told Reuters.
The new wells are part of the Exxon-led consortium's plan to rehabilitate West Qurna, for which it signed a 20-year development contract with Iraq earlier this year.
Leading service companies including Weatherford International, Halliburton, and Schlumberger were also said to have been invited to bid for another tender to drill 15 new wells, which could be awarded by early next year.
The state-owned Iraq Drilling Company was also invited to bid. Exxon and Shell were awarded the deal to develop the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna 1 oilfield last year.
Exxon and its partners raised their production plateau target for West Qurna 1 to 2.825 million barrels per day after adding new reserves to the area.
In March, Schlumberger was awarded a contract to drill new wells at BP's Rumaila oilfield.