Iraq has signed a contract with China’s CNOOC to conduct a seismic survey for two oil exploration blocks, the oil ministry said on Jan. 31.
The survey will include one offshore block in the Gulf and another near the border with Iran, the ministry said in a statement.
The offshore survey would be the first in Iraq’s territorial waters in the Gulf, said ministry spokesman Asim Jihad.
The onshore block near the border with Iran and the offshore block were among six which failed to attract bids from energy companies in a licensing auction held last year.
The oil ministry held an auction for international energy companies, with 11 blocks on offer near the borders with Iran and Kuwait and in offshore Gulf waters.
Iraq has boosted output rapidly in recent years with the help of foreign oil companies. It is OPEC’s second-largest producer behind Saudi Arabia.
Crude oil once again takes center stage with WTI spiking to a three-month high after recent events renewed tension in the Middle East.
The risk has receded for now, the agency said.
The United States has only been exporting oil since early 2016, after a four-decade ban on crude shipments worldwide was lifted in response to a surge in U.S. oil production.