Iraqs cabinet has awarded a $526.6m drilling contract to Chinas Zhongman Petroleum & Natural Gas at the West Qurna-2 oil field in the south of the country.
The Chinese group will drill 66 production wells over a 28-month period.
The West Qurna-2 development is operated by Russias Lukoil, which owns a 75 per cent stake in a concession.
The fields current production capacity is 400,000 barrels a day (b/d), but output has not yet been ramped up to full capacity.
Lukoil has several engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) packages out to tender for the fields expansion.