Iraq could bring second oil auction date forward

Senior official also says companies could bid on oil fields again

The Rumaila oil field in Iraq. (Getty Images)
The Rumaila oil field in Iraq. (Getty Images)

After last week’s auction for Iraq’s oil and gas fields resulted in only one contract being awarded, a senior official has said that the country will bring forward the date for the second round of bidding and may allow foreign oil companies another opportunity to bid.

Iraq Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told news agency Reuters that the second bidding round was supposed to take place at the end of 2009, but a sooner date could now be announced.

Jihad is reported as saying that some of the contracts offered last week could be either auctioned again separately or added to the second round.

The second round of bidding for Iraq’s hydrocarbon assets is set to be more competitive than the first as the fields on offer are undeveloped.

The two gas fields from the first round, , Akkas and Mansuriyah, will not be offered to foreign firms as it was announced last week that state-owned oil companies from Iraq will develop them.

The super giant 17 billion barrel reserve Rumaila field was the only contract awarded, out of a possible eight on offer, in the opening round. A consortium led by BP was the successful bidder. The less than generous terms on offer from the Iraq Oil Ministry failed to tempt any other foreign investment.  
 

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