KUWAIT, March 31 Iraq, along with oil major BP
Plc (BP.L) and its Chinese partner CNPC have awarded nearly $500
million worth of new drilling contracts for the giant Rumaila
oilfield, a government official said on Wednesday.
Iraq awarded contracts to drill 49 new wells each valued at
around $10 million, Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, director of the Oil
Ministry's licensing office told Reuters.
Chinese firm Daqing and a joint venture between Schlumberger
Ltd (SLB.N) and the state-owned Iraq Drilling Company are being
awarded contracts to drill 21 new wells respectively, while
Weatherford International Ltd (WFT.N) was awarded with 7 new
wells, Ameedi said.
There were originally 56 new wells up for grabs, he said.
"The remaining seven wells we have left for later once we
review the performance of the contractors," he said.
Iraq, in desperate need for cash to rebuild its battered
economy after years of war and sanctions, has struck a series of
development contracts with global oil majors that could also
signal a bonanza for international oil service companies.
(Reporting by Rania el-Gamal; editing by James Jukwey)