Hassan Hafidh
Wall Street Journal
July 19, 2010

BAGHDAD (Dow Jones)– British oil major BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) and partners China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC.YY) and Iraq’s state-run South Oil Co. expect to issue tenders to drill between 80 and 100 wells in the immense Rumaila oil field this year and next year, a company executive said Monday.

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Earlier this year, BP awarded three deals valued at least $500 million to drill 49 wells as part of the program to develop Iraq’s largest-producing oil field, which could become the world’s second-largest.

“For the next-year drilling contracts, we are expected to award them this year,” the official said on the sidelines of an oil symposium concluded in Baghdad on Monday.

In Rumaila, Iraq’s oldest oil field that was put onstream in 1953, there are around 800 existing wells, some 500 to 600 of which are not producing and need a workover, he said.

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