Partners award $500m Rumaila oil drilling contracts in Iraq

31 March 2010

49 new wells at Rumaila field to boost production

UK oil major BP has awarded a series of new contracts for drilling work at the Rumaila oilfield in Iraq.

The contracts are worth a combined $500m and cover the drilling of 49 wells at the field, Reuters reports.

Chinese drilling firm Daging Oil Field Company and a joint venture of the US’ Schlumberger and state-owned Iraq Drilling Company will each drill 21 new wells. The US’ Weatherford was awarded the contract to drill the remaining seven wells.

A contract to drill six more wells will be tendered at a later date if the initial contractors are successful.

BP and its consortium partner, Chinese National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) signed a 20-year development contract for the 17-billion-barrel field in the Basrah province in June 2009 in Iraq’s first post-war oilfield bid round. The two companies plan to invest $15bn over the duration of the contract.

Earlier in March, Turkish Petroleum International Company (TPIC) won a $318m deal to drill 45 news wells at the field.

Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organisation said in January the field could increase production by 100,000 barrels a day by the beginning of July. Production in 2009 was 1 million barrels a day (b/d).The companies are expected to raise production to 2.85 million b/d within seven years.

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