BAGHDAD (AP) -- Oil giants Chevron Corp. and Total have confirmed that they are in discussions with the Iraqi Oil Ministry to increase production in an important oil field in southern Iraq.
The discussions are aimed at finalizing a two-year deal, or technical support agreement, to boost production at the West Qurna Stage 1 oil field near Iraq's second-largest city of Basra.
Chevron and Total confirmed their involvement in the discussions in e-mails received Saturday by The Associated Press.
"Chevron is interested in helping the Iraq government's objectives to develop its oil and gas industry," Chevron spokesman Kurt Glaubitz said in an e-mail. Total spokeswoman Lisa Wyler confirmed the French company's involvement.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry has said it is also negotiating with Royal Dutch Shell PLC, BP PLC, ExxonMobil Corp. to increase crude production in four other fields and under the same agreement.
Iraq has the world's third-largest oil reserves, totaling more than 115 billion barrels. Iraq's average production for February was 2.4 million barrels per day and exports averaged 1.93 million barrels per day.
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