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Iraq signs oil deal with a British company to boost production

February 26, 2009
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Iraq signed a joint venture oil deal with a British-based company in one of the largest deals since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to the Associated Press. The deal comes as Iraq''s budget is increasingly pinched by a decline in global oil prices and officials seek to boost oil production and develop new industries to pay for reconstruction. But many major oil companies have remained in the wings, until Iraqi lawmakers complete a long-delayed proposal governing oil investments. State-run Iraqi Drilling Co. will hold 51 percent of the new pact with Mesopotamia Petroleum Co. The new company, which will be called Iraqi Oil Service Co., will have an initial capital investment of $90 million, which could be increased in the future. The initial plan is to drill up to 60 wells a year with a potential of 120,000 barrels a year. The work will be based first in the southern oil fields around the Basra and Maysan provinces. Iraq hopes to add up to 4.5 million barrels a day to its current daily production of 2.4 million barrels over the next four to six years.
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