Weatherford Gets $224.4MM Iraqi Oil Deal

AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), May 12, 2009

U.S. oilfield service company Weatherford International Ltd. (WFT) has won a deal worth $224.4 million to drill 20 wells in the Buzurgan oil field in southern Iraq, an Iraq cabinet spokesman said Tuesday.

Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement following a cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that the cabinet had approved the deal.

"The company would drill these wells within two years," he said.

Buzurgan oil field is in Missan province, which has proven oil reserves of more than 2 billion barrels. It is currently producing 100,000 barrels a day.

The new wells would boost output to a total of 130,000 barrels a day, according to an Iraqi oil official.

Drilling new wells in the field is part of a "crush plan" initiated by the Iraqi oil ministry earlier this year.

The plan aims to boost the country's crude oil production by 500,000 barrels a day within two years.

Iraq, which sits on the world's third largest oil reserves, produces only around 2.3 million barrels a day.

Buzurgan is among the producing fields announced by the Iraqi oil ministry to international oil companies to develop in the first bidding round.

The Missan Oil Co., which operates the field, announced a tender earlier this year to drill new wells in the field.

Weatherford has been involved in drilling operations in southern Iraq oil fields over the last three years.

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