Chinese construction firm Anton Oilfield Services has received a one-year extension of its two-year drilling contract at Iraq’s Majnoon field, the firm’s interim results confirmed this week. Field operator Basra Oil Company (BOC) brought in Anton and Houston’s KBR in May 2018 to oversee drilling and other operations at the 240,000 b/d field following Shell’s decision to exit citing poor remuneration terms (MEES, 18 May 2018). Anton says its Iraq operations have brought in orders worth RMB 3,877mn ($548mn) over the last two years – a significant chunk of the firm’s business.

Anton has also worked at Chinese-operated fields in Iraq, including Ahdab (CNPC), Halfaya (CNPC) and Buzurgan (CNOOC), along with Lukoil-operated West Qurna-2, Gazprom Neft’s Badra and Petronas’ Gharaf. But its role at Majnoon is arguably its most important: after Shell walked away, Majnoon became something of a testing ground for BOC’s drive to successfully develop a major field without an IOC operator. The plan remains to raise output from Majnoon to 440,000 b/d by 2022– an objective the ministry will definitely now prioritize as its Opec production commitment will expire 1 April. (CONTINUED - 185 WORDS)