US supermajor Chevron continued its belated entry into federal Iraq’s upstream on 17 August when it signed a “memorandum of cooperation” with Basra Oil Company (BOC) to conduct preliminary studies on various fields in the country’s southern Iraqi heartland. This builds upon a June agreement that Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi vaguely said entailed “doing several things” (MEES, 22 June).

Chevron has kept quiet on the initial agreements and details are few and far between, but all indications point to a broad arrangement to conduct technical appraisals akin to January’s deal between Iraq’s oil ministry and BP to conduct a technical study ahead of further development at the northern Kirkuk field (MEES, 19 January). Also like the BP deal, Iraq’s oil ministry is keen to play up a foreign major’s involvement no matter how minor—especially following Shell’s June exit from 230,000 b/d Majnoon field and lackluster interest in April’s bid round (MEES, 27 April). (CONTINUED - 370 WORDS)