Sheila McNulty Iraq oil business can learn lessons from others in developing

While Iraq is still a difficult place to work, companies continue to persist in getting business there. On Tuesday, Halliburton announced it had been awarded a contract by Eni to provide a range of integrated energy services to help redevelop the Zubair field in southern Iraq.

No details about the value of the countract. Halliburton just said work for the “multi-million dollar contract” is underway. Halliburton is to carry out services such as perforating, acidizing and well-testing on 20 wells for Eni. Halliburton chief executive, Dave Lesar, explains in the news release why Halliburton is interested:

We are committed to providing Eni the critical services required to deliver on its goal of expanding production over the next several years. Halliburton has made a strategic investment in our Iraqi infrastructure, and the award of this contract, coupled with the recent letter of intent awarded by Shell and its partners, demonstrates that we have the technology and people in place to deliver in Iraq.

Despite the difficulties of working around the world to develop oil and gas resources, companies are only too willing to do it – as long as they don’t feel cheated.

ExxonMobil’s recent withdraw from efforts to get into Ghana’s Jubilee field demonstrate what happens when local governments are perceived by industry to  interfere too much in the process. It is a lesson Iraq would be smart to remember as development of its industry unfolds.