Iraq has been stepping up its upstream activity, enabling it to hit new production and export records in recent months (MEES, 4 January). Unsurprisingly this is proving a boon for drilling firms, with the number of active oil drilling rigs in the country at a four-year high of 61 in November. Despite recent price falls, there’s no sign of a slowdown as Iraq aims to boost production capacity to 5mn b/d this year. Last month, Schlumberger was awarded a contract to drill 40 wells at 240,000 b/d Majnoon, while Halliburton will mobilize four-six rigs at 475,000 b/d Zubair over the next two years.