An oil ministry spokesman tells MEED that Hussein al-Shahristani will travel to Beijing in the next few weeks to revive the agreement.

“The contract was originally done 10 years ago and he [Shahristani] is now going to reactivate the deal,” says the spokesman.

Iraq originally signed a $700m deal with CNPC in 1997 to develop the field but it was delayed and then suspended following UN sanctions.

The field had an estimated pre-war production capacity of 90,000-barrels-a-day (b/d).

An associated power plant, to be built near the oil field, may also be included in the new contract, according to the spokesman.