Iraq approves deal to award Schlumberger $480 million deal to drill oil wells

Iraqi laborers work at the Halfaya oil field near the southern city of Amara in Iraq’s southern Maysan province on December 12, 2009. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi cabinet on Tuesday approved a deal to award U.S. company Schlumberger Ltd a $480 million deal to drill 96 oil wells in the south, according to a statement.

The Iraqi Council of Ministers held its weekly meeting on Tuesday chaired by Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to discuss several topics, including taking necessary measures to contain coronavirus.

Following discussions, the Iraqi cabinet approved a bid from Schlumberger to drill 96 wells from the Basra Oil Company and ExxonMobil, it said in a statement.

The company has previously worked at ExxonMobil’s West Qurna 1 field in southern Iraq, according to Iraq Business.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, relies on oil exports for nearly all its state revenue. It was hit hard by low oil prices last year and struggled to pay public sector workers.

Iraq has the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves and depends on oil revenues to fund 95 percent of its national budget.

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