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By Ahmed Rasheed
BAGHDAD, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Iraq has agreed a deal with U.S. company Schlumberger Ltd to drill 40 wells in the giant Majnoon oilfield, the Oil Ministry said on Wednesday.
Iraqi Oil Minister Thamir Ghadhban said in a statement that the agreement with the oil services firm was aimed at boosting production from Majnoon.
A deal was also signed on Wednesday between Basra Oil Co, which manages Majnoon, and Oil Exploration Co, two state-run Iraqi firms, to conduct a seismic survey in Majnoon.
“Carrying out a three-dimensional seismic survey by the Oil Exploration Company in Majnoon will help to obtain accurate data and boost production at the field,” Ghadhban said.
In June, Royal Dutch Shell exited Majnoon in southern Iraq and handed the field’s operations to Basra Oil.
Crude oil output from Majnoon is more than 240,000 barrels per day (bpd), the statement said.
Iraq is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia and pumps around 4.6 million bpd, below its capacity, in line with global, OPEC-led supply cuts aimed at supporting prices.
The bulk of Iraq’s oil is exported via southern terminals, which account for more than 95 percent of the country’s state revenue.
Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, Writing by Nafisa Eltahir and Ahmed Rasheed; Editing by Dale Hudson and Louise Heavens