Iraqi approves Samsung's $879 million oilfield contract: government

BAGHDAD Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:33am EST

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's cabinet approved an $879 million oilfield service contract with Samsung Engineering (028050.KS) for the development of the Badra oil field, the cabinet said in a statement.

Under the contract, Samsung plans to build a facility to help process crude from the field, whose output is forecast to reach 170,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) in 2017, a target which was set by Iraq's oil ministry.

Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM), the oil arm of Russia's Gazprom, is teaming up with Turkey's TPAO, South Korea's KOGAS (036460.KS) and Malaysia's Petronas PETR.UL to develop the field near the Iran border, which has estimated reserves of 100 million barrels.

The Russian company expects to start commercial production of 15,000 barrels per day at the field in August.

Iraq aims to double its oil output over the next three years and has a long-term goal of 12 million bpd. Although that target may be out of reach, Iraq is still expected to be the world's biggest source of new oil supplies over the next few years.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by David Holmes)

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