The company has invited bids for the drilling contracts at the South Rumaila and Luhais fields near Basra.

The Rumaila field, expected to undergo seismic testing later this year, is estimated to hold about 18 billion barrels of oil, while Luhais is one of several large fields expected to be developed by oil majors during the upcoming award of technical service agreements.

Contractors will be expected to drill to depths of up to 6,500 metres and provide heavy-capacity drilling rigs. Bids are due to be submitted by 27 July.

Iraq is hoping to boost its current oil production of around 2.5 million barrels-a-day (b/d) by up to 500,000 b/d in the next 12 months, through a series of deals with international oil companies.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil is due to announce the results of its first round of tenders to develop several of its largest fields on 30 June (MEED 10:6:08).