The contract, due to be awarded in October, is scheduled to take six months to complete and is expected to lead to a more substantial tender for reservoir management and remedial engineering work. The studies are considered a vital first step in rehabilitating Iraq’s giant fields, which have suffered from under-investment and overproduction.

The two fields have combined optimal production capacity of 1.9 million barrels a day (b/d), which exceeds the country’s present output of less than 1.5 million b/d.