The Iraqi government has decided to award a contract to develop the
prized West Qurna oil field to a consortium led by the U.S. oil company
The Iraqi oil ministry Thursday announced an
agreement to give the companies, which include Royal Dutch Shell, a
20-year contract to develop West Qurna. The field is believed to hold
some 8.5 billion barrels of untapped oil.
consortium has proposed boosting the field's output from its current
level of about 280,000 barrels of oil a day up to 2.1 million.
Another consortium, led by Russia's Lukoil, had also competed for the contract.
has the world's third largest oil reserves, and has been trying to
boost production. Oil sales account for the vast majority of the
Earlier this week, Iraq finalized a deal
with the British oil company BP and China's CNPC to develop the giant
Rumaila oil field.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.