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Schlumberger awarded contracts to drill Iraqi wells

Exploration & Production

Schlumberger, the oil services firm, has been awarded a contract to drill 10 wells in Iraqs West Qurna Phase One oilfield by ExxonMobil and its partners.

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 in early 2010.

Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell were awarded the deal to develop the 8.7 billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One field in an auction held by Iraq last year for oilfield development contracts.

Exxon and its partners raised their production plateau target for West Qurna Phase One to 2.825mn bpd after adding new reserves to the area, reported Reuters.

Leading service companies including Weatherford International, Halliburton and Schlumberger were also invited to bid for another tender to drill 15 new wells, which could be awarded in early 2011.

Schlumberger has already won a contract to drill new wells in the Rumaila oilfield back in March 2010. The increased projects for oil service companies inside Iraq is the result of the country signing a number of development contracts with global oil companies such as Exxon, Shell and BP.

These deals to develop Iraq's oilfields have seen the country's oil output increase steadily over the last few months.

The country's oil output rose to 2.7mn bpd by the beginning of January, while crude exports increased to 2mn bpd from 1.95mn barrels in December, Iraq's Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said.