Iraq and China signed a final contract to develop al-Ahdab oilfield at a value of more than $3 billion, an Iraqi oil ministry source said.
“Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahrestani and Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wei Jianguo signed the contract on Monday at the oil ministry headquarters in Baghdad,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq.
The Iraqi cabinet had initialed the contract in August 2008, later ratified in September as a service, not a partnership, contract.
By virtue of the contract, the first three years will see deterioration on the oilfield production stopped and later on the development of the field to produce 200,000 barrels per day (bpd).
Al-Ahdab comprises seven explored wells that are expected to yield 200,000 bpd to be pumped through a pipeline to the al-Nassiriya station, and from there to the export harbors in southern Iraq.
The Iraqi oil ministry had recently hatched a plan to attract foreign companies to invest in the country’s oil sector and increase production to reach 4-4.5 million bpd by 2010 if the 80 explored fields were developed.
Al-Ahdab field lies in the district of al-Ahrar, (25 km) western Wassit province, 180 km southeast of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
One of the non-invested Iraqi oilfields, al-Ahdab, discovered in 1979, boasts a reserve of 225 million bpd.
( Voices of Iraq )