Iraqi Drilling Co. (IDC), a subsidiary of state firm INOC, has entered yet another “partnership contract,” this time with US oilfields services provider Weatherford according to a 5 December oil ministry press release. IDC Director General Basim Abdulkareem says the move will help “increase the chances of getting projects.” Indeed, IDC has become the partner of choice for leading service providers, having signed similar agreements with Halliburton (MEES, 12 November) and Schlumberger (MEES, 3 December).

The attraction of partnering IDC appears to be both the firm’s vast drilling and workover fleet and the political weight it brings to joint bidding with other firms. Meanwhile, Halliburton – which is also rumored to eye a takeover of Exxon’s WQ-1 stake (MEES, 10 December) – started drilling on 3 December at the 250,000 b/d Majnoon field as a sub-contractor for IDC. The contract for the 43 new wells was awarded to IDC in 2019, despite IDC having apparently bid $250mn versus a $190mn bid from Halliburton (MEES, 27 August).   (CONTINUED - 158 WORDS)