Reuters reports that Iraq's state-run Iraqi Drilling Company has started work at the Zubair oil field under a $250 million contract to drill 23 new wells in the field.
Director Idrees al-Yassiri said the two-year contract also included overhauling 63 old wells in Zubair.
"We have started executing the contract awarded to us by ENI ... The total expected production after completing the project will be more than 250,000 barrels per day from these wells," Yassiri said during a trip to the oilfield.
Italy's ENI, U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum and South Korea's KOGAS signed a 20-year deal with Iraq to develop Zubair. They set an eventual output target of 1.2 million barrels per day.
The Iraqi company has also floated a tender to purchase five drilling towers and has invited foreign companies to bid, Yassiri said, without giving further details.