CNPC International and UK oil giant BP have agreed a joint deal to develop Iraq’s largest producing oil field, AP reported. Iraqi government spokesman Assem Jihad confirmed that CNPC and BP have signed an initial agreement for development rights to Rumaila, the 17.8 billion barrel southern Iraqi oil field which was one of six sites offered to foreign firms. The consortium is now waiting for the deal to be approved by the Iraqi cabinet. BP and CNPC’s initial bid would have netted them US$3.99 per barrel, but the consortium was forced to cut their price to just US$2 per barrel. US company Exxon Mobil dropped out of the bidding process after refusing to cut its payment from US$4.80 per barrel produced.