Iraq’s cabinet is set to approve development deals for two oil fields on 17 November after the oil ministry signed preliminary contracts with oil majors in the first week of November.

A source at the oil ministry says the deals for the Zubair and West Qurna fields will be presented to the cabinet on 17 November.

“There should not be any delays and we expect both contracts to go through on that date,” says the ministry source.

Iraq signed a 20-year deal on 2 November with a consortium led by Italy’s Eni to develop the southern Zubair field near Basra. It awarded the licence to Eni and its consortium partners, the US’ Occidental Petroleum and Korea Gas Corporation.

On 5 November, the ministry awarded a 20-year contract to the US’ ExxonMobil Corporation and the UK/Dutch Shell Group for the development of the West Qurna oil field in Basra province.

Iraq’s cabinet approved a $15bn technical service contract on 3 November with the UK’s BP and its partner on the project, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), to develop the Rumaila oil field.