Iraq's Council of Ministers has awarded the US oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd. the drilling of 96 oil wells in the country’s south, according to a statement issued by the Council and published by the National Iraqi News Agency (NINA) on Tuesday.
The contract amounts to approximately $480 million, but is 14.4% less than the forecast value of $561 million, the statement said.
The country's oil ministry will oversee the drilling and contribute to the deficit in the bid price offered by Schlumberger Ltd., the world's largest oil services company.
Historically, the country has had difficulties in repaying international oil companies that develop major oil fields in the southern part of the country.
Iraq, OPEC's second-largest producer, relies on oil exports for 95% of its state budget.
By Busranur Begcecanli