Iraq's oil ministry announced on Thursday that Basra Oil Co agreed with state company Iraq Drilling to drill 40 oil wells in Majnoon field. This is expected to boost production at the giant field to 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) by 2021, up from current output of 240,000 bpd.
By the end of 2019, Basra Oil Company plans to raise output from the field to 290,000 bpd, the company director told Reuters in January 2019. In December 2018, Schlumberger signed a deal to drill 40 other wells in Majnoon field, as part of the effort to boost output from the field.
Royal Dutch Shell exited the field in 2018, giving Basra Oil operatorship.
Iraq is currently pumping below its maximum capacity, following the OPEC+ decision in early December 2018 to cut output in an effort to stabilise oil prices following a turbulent Q4 2018 which saw prices jump to $86 per barrel of Brent crude before crashing by the end of the year.
Iraq is one of eight countries given waivers surrounding US sanctions against Iran, but it is unclear if they will be extended further--US government officials have indicated that waivers will not be extended, but no official announcement has been made.