OPEC member Iraq has awarded a contract to the US oilfield services Schlumberger to provide drilling services in its Southern oil hub of Basra, the official Iraqi Alsabah newspaper reported on Thursday. 

The Iraq Drilling Company (IDC), a subsidiary of the Oil Ministry, will shortly sign the agreement with the US firm, the paper said, quoting IDC Director General Basim Abdul Karim. 

“The Oil Ministry has agreed to award the contract to Schlumberger…it is a partnership contract which allows the Company to provide support services in oil drilling projects in Basra Governorate,”  Abdul Karim said. 

Iraq, which controls the world’s fifth largest proven crude oil deposits, has been locked in a post-war programme to rehabilitate its hydrocarbon sector and boost output capacity. Officials said in 2020 the target is to expand capacity to more than seven million barrels per day (bpd) by 2027 from around five million bpd currently. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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