Iraq Issues Tenders to Drill Nahr Ben Umar, Majnoon Wells

IRAQ (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 11, 2009

The South Oil Company, an affiliate of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, has issued tenders to drill 40 oil wells in the country's southern fields in a bid to address a sharp fall in southern oil production, the company said on its Web site Wednesday.

It has issued tenders to drill 10 oil wells in the Nahr Ben Umar field and 30 wells in the Majnoon field, each with estimated oil reserves of 12 billion barrels a day.

The tender documents set the closing date for companies to submit their offers by March 1, 2009.

The giant Nahr Ben Umar field is currently producing around 50,000 barrels a day and the South Oil Company wants to increase output to 70,000 barrels a day.

The Majnoon oil field is currently producing around 50,000 barrels a day and the company wants to upgrade its output to no less than 80,000 barrels a day.

An Iraqi oil industry source in Basra told Dow Jones Newswires last week that the country's crude oil production from its southern oil fields had slipped by 100,000-150,000 barrels a day over the last six months as maintenance problems and a lack of investment undermine the country's output capacity.

Iraq is currently producing around 1.8 million barrels a day from its southern oil fields, or 70% of the country's total crude oil production.  

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