Schlumberger Wins $480-Million Contract To Drill for Basra Oil and ExxonMobil in Iraq
Schlumberger has won a $480-million contract to drill 96 oil wells in southern Iraq for the country’s Basra Oil Company and for ExxonMobil, which operates the giant West Qurna-1 field with partners from Iraq, Japan, Indonesia, and China. West Qurna-1 is one of the world’s largest oil fields.
Schlumberger has won a $480-million deal to drill 96 oil wells in southern Iraq for the country’s Basra Oil Company (BOC) and for ExxonMobil.
The Iraqi cabinet agreed on 23 March to award the contract to Schlumberger, which has worked at West Qurna-1 field where ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd.is lead operator, according to press statements.
In announcing the award, Iraqi authorities did not identify where the new drilling will take place.
Schlumberger has had considerable experience in southern Iraq. ExxonMobil had awarded Schlumberger a 42-month integrated drilling services contract in 2018 to drill 30 wells at West Qurna-1; in 2010 Schlumberger had been similarly tapped to drill 10 wells in the same area.
ExxonMobil began operating in Iraq in 2010 through two registered affiliates: ExxonMobil Iraq Ltd. (EMIL) and ExxonMobil Kurdistan Region of Iraq Ltd. (EMKRIL), according to Exxon’s website.
EMIL has operated West Qurna-1 since signing an agreement in 2010 with South Oil Company of the Iraq Ministry of Oil to rehabilitate and redevelop the field, which is known to be Iraq’s second largest.
Current partners in the consortium with EMIL include Japan’s ITOCHU, PetroChina, Indonesia’s Pertamina, and Oil Exploration Company (Iraq’s state-owned exploration company.)
West Qurna-1 is one of the world’s largest oil fields with expected recoverable reserves of over 20 billion bbl. Its development has been a priority given that Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest producer and relies on oil exports for nearly all its state revenue.
In October 2011, ExxonMobil signed six production-sharing contracts covering more than 848,000 acres in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
In February of this year ExxonMobil announced its intent to sell a 32% stake in the Baeshiqa block in Kurdistan to its partner in the project. Oslo-listed independent DNO has operated the block since taking over from ExxonMobil in 2018, and because of the additional buyout, will hold a 64% stake overall.
DNO said it will continue exploration and appraisal drilling, and intends to fast-track production from existing wells in 2021.
EMIL has a registered branch office in Iraq and has a presence in both Baghdad and Basra. EMKRIL has registered a branch office in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, according to ExxonMobil’s website.