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BASRA, Iraq, April 5 (Reuters) - The Iraqi oil ministry signed a two-year contract with Anton Oilfield Services and Petrofac on Thursday to operate the giant Majnoon oilfield, two oil executives said.
The companies will operate the southern oilfield on behalf of Iraqi state-owned Basra Oil Company which is taking over operations there from Royal Dutch Shell.
Shell had announced its intention to exit the field, which started production in 2014, by the end of June.
The Integrated Field Management Support contract for Majnoon signed with Anton and Petrofac can be renewed after two years, the executives said.
The executives, one Iraqi and one foreign, are involved in the project but declined to be identified.
Basra Oil said in February it plans to raise output at Majnoon to 450,000 bpd in three years, from 240,000 bpd now, by adding a new production platform.
With output of 4.4 million bpd in March, Iraq is the second-largest producer of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia.
Iraq is producing below its maximum capacity of nearly 5 million bpd under an agreement between OPEC and other exporters including Russia to curtail global supply to support oil prices.
The Iraqi government announced plans this week to increase the country’s oil output capacity to 6.5 million bpd by 2022. (Reporting by Aref Mohammed in Basra; writing by Maher Chmaytelli in Baghdad; editing by Jason Neely and Adrian Croft)