Iraq has awarded US services firm Schlumberger a $480mn contract to drill 96 new wells at the ExxonMobil-operated West Qurna-1 oilfield in Basra. Schlumberger’s bid was 14% below the oil ministry’s projected cost of $561.6mn.

Exxon operates the 470,000 b/d capacity field under a technical service contract (TSC) with a 32.7% stake alongside China’s CNPC (32.7%), Japan’s Itochu (19.6%) and Indonesia’s Pertamina (10%). Rumors have circulated since last year that CNPC is looking to buyout Exxon’s stake (MEES, 11 December 2020). (CONTINUED - 148 WORDS)