Iraq National Oil Company (INOC) says Chinese state firm CNOOC is to explore a 530km² block offshore Basra, while Iraqi state firm OEC conducts work on 120km² of adjoining onshore acreage.

A contract was initially awarded to CNOOC in early 2019 but activities were delayed due to the pandemic. OEC’s Director General Basem Khudair says that once 3D seismic surveys have been conducted, one exploration well apiece is to be drilled onshore and offshore. OEC has been expanding activity lately on the Kuwaiti border conducting 2D surveys at Umm Qasr and Sanam (Abdali in Kuwait) oil fields (MEES, 15 October 2021). (CONTINUED - 99 WORDS)