The agreement was signed in Baghdad by representatives of the ministry of oil and the West Qurna-1 contractor consortium in the presence of the Iraq oil minister, Hussain al-Shahristani and Rob Franklin, president of ExxonMobil Upstream Ventures.

The consortium members include ExxonMobil as the lead contractor with 60% interest, Oil Exploration Company (owned by the Iraq government) with 25% interest and Royal Dutch Shell with 15% interest.

Mr Franklin said, “We are pleased to sign the agreement for the redevelopment and expansion of the West Qurna-1 field and look forward to working with the government of Iraq and the South Oil Company on implementation of this important project.”

Mr Franklin added that ExxonMobil also will continue the discussions with the government on other opportunities to assist Iraq in developing the country’s resources.

The company said that it would apply its operating capabilities and technology to provide Iraq with benefits from the field. It has also plans to focus on the recruitment and development of local employees, the development of qualified local vendors for the supply of goods and services, and on supporting corporate citizenship initiatives in health, education and infrastructure.