Exxon to Boost Drilling at West Qurna Field

DUBAI (Dow Jones Newswires), Sep. 27, 2010

ExxonMobil plans to increase drilling activity under phase one of Iraq's supergiant West Qurna oil field and has awarded a well work contract, a senior company official said Monday.

James Adams, Exxon's Iraq vice president, said at an energy conference in Qatar, that the oil major aims to drill two to three times as many wells as the 370 currently in the field as part of long-term plans to boost field output to 2.3 million barrels a day.

Exxon has awarded a well work contract and is in the process of awarding a drilling contract as part of its plans, Adams said without providing further details.

Exxon and Shell won the right to develop the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One in an auction held by Iraq last year for oil field development contracts.

The consortium pledged to increase production to 2.325 million barrels a day and will receive $1.90 for each extra produced barrel of oil from the field.

The deal is one of a series to develop major and untapped oil fields that could catapult Iraq to third place among world oil producers and boost its capacity to Saudi Arabian levels of 12 million barrels a day, from around 2.5 million barrels a day currently.

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