A consortium led by
Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell on Monday signed a contract with the Iraqi government to develop one of the country's largest oil fields, DPA reported.
"I am happy to conclude this contract with these two major companies to develop the giant West Qurna oil field," Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said at the signing ceremony in Baghdad.
Exxon and Shell in November agreed to boost production from the West Qurna oil field from its current level of 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2.325 million bpd over the course of 20 years.
Oil Ministry spokesman Assim Jihad at the time said the consortium's offer to boost production so significantly had helped it beat Russian energy giant Lukoil in bidding for the contract, which began last June.
Iraq relies on the 2.5 million bpd it produces for more than 90 per cent of its government revenue and about 60 per cent of its gross national product.