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.
Occidental is restarting some activity in the Permian Basin and Gulf of Mexico, but its focus is to "ensure that we have the liquidity to go forward so we have the ability to meet our maturities," CEO Vicki Hollub says.
Occidental Petroleum posted its fourth straight quarterly loss on Aug. 10 as it recorded a $6.6 billion impairment charge, largely to write down the value of its properties following a crash in oil prices.
Pertamina is negotiating the acquisition of Occidental's oil and gas stakes in countries including Ghana and the United Arab Emirates, a report said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.