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Iraq's super-giant West Qurna Phase One is producing 310,000 barrels of crude a day and output will rise to 400,000 barrels a day by the end of 2011, head of the field operating division said Wednesday.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) won the right to develop the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One in a 2009 auction for oil field development contracts.
Madhi al-Maliki also said Exxon Mobil has recently awarded Fluor Corp. (FLR) a contract worth up to $250 million to carry out early works for the West Qurna Phase One field. The engineering procurement and construction contract is reimbursable and is a continuing services agreement for oil field-related infrastructure development with an expected duration of three years, he said.
Exxon Mobil said Monday that it and joint venture partners have boosted oil output to 285,000 barrels a day but al-Maliki said the field is actually producing 310,000 barrels a day now.
Halliburton Co. (HAL), since it won a contract from ExxonMobil in October 2010, has refurbished some 30 existing wells in the field, al-Maliki told Dow Jones Newswires at the West Qurna field some 120 kilometers north of Basra.
The Iraqi Drilling Co., a subsidiary of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, has so far repaired between 7 to 11 wells, he said.
There are around 300 wells in the field which were drilled in the past; some 230 out of them are producing while the rest needs refurbishment, al-Maliki said.
The Halliburton contract worth up to $58 million could be renewed for another year when it expires later this year, he said. But that would depend on a decision by the joint venture.
A seismic survey contract is also expected to be awarded this year. "We have prepared a tender document for the seismic survey and we will announce it soon," al-Maliki said.
The joint venture has also awarded smaller contracts to local Iraqi contractors to refurbish an existing workers' camp that can accommodate 150 people. "We are also assessing offers submitted by local and international companies to build another camp that would accommodate 400 people," al-Maliki said.
The venture is also preparing a tender documents to build a larger camp that would house some 1,500 administrative staff, he added.
Exxon Mobil Iraq Limited is the lead contractor at West Qurna I, with a 60% stake.
The consortium pledged to increase production to 2.825 million barrels a day, and will receive $1.90 for each extra produced barrel of oil from the field.
-By Hassan Hafidh, Dow Jones Newswires; +962 799 831 831; firstname.lastname@example.org