* Final contract yet to be signed with Schlumberger
* Exxon, partners raised plateau to 2.825 mln bpd
BAGHDAD, Nov 29 (Reuters) - U.S. oil major ExxonMobil (XOM.N) and its partners have awarded a contract to oil services firm Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N) to drill 10 wells in Iraq’s West Qurna Phase One oilfield, industry sources familiar with the matter said.
The contract award was finalised a few days ago but a final contract is yet to be signed with Schlumberger, the sources told Reuters.
The new wells are part of the Exxon-led consortium’s plan to rehabilitate West Qurna, for which it signed a 20-year development contract with Iraq earlier this year.
Leading service companies including Weatherford International Ltd (WFT.N), Halliburton Co (HAL.N), and Schlumberger were also invited to bid for another tender to drill 15 new wells, which could be awarded by early next year, industry sources told Reuters.
The state-owned Iraq Drilling Company was also invited to bid. Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) were awarded the deal to develop the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One field in an auction held by Iraq last year for oilfield development contracts.
Exxon and its partners raised their production plateau target for West Qurna Phase One to 2.825 million barrels per day after adding new reserves to the area. [ID:nLDE6AR0EC]
Iraq has struck a series of development contracts with global oil companies that could also signal a bonanza for oil service companies.
In March, Schlumberger was awarded a contract to drill new wells in the Rumaila oilfield. [ID:nLDE62U1AE]
Baghdad awarded a series of massive oilfield development contracts last year to majors such as Exxon, Shell and BP (BP.L) that could more than quadruple its output capacity to 12 million bpd within seven years.
If it happens, such output levels would rival top producer Saudi Arabia and provide Iraq with the billions of dollars it needs to rebuild its shattered economy after decades of war, sanctions and neglect. (Reporting by Baghdad bureau; editing by Sue Thomas)