Addax purchase bars Sinopec from Iraqi oil auction

Chinese oil giant told Kurdish interests bar it from participating

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The Chinese oil giant Sinopec has been refused permission to participate in the second round of oil auctions in Iraq due to its recent takeover of Addax Petroleum according to a senior official from the Gulf state’s oil ministry.

Reuters reported that the head of the legal and commercial section of the Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate, Sabah Abdul Kadhim, said that Sinopec wanted to pay the participation fee that would enable it bid for development contracts for Iraq’s oilfields, but the request was refused by Baghdad.

“Sinopec asked to pay the participation fee to get the data package but we refused due to the deals they have with the Kurdish Regional Government,” Kadhim is reported by Reuters as saying.

Sinopec’s US$7.2 billion acquisition of Addax Petroleum has angered oil officials in Baghdad due to Swiss-Canadian exploration and production company interests in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraq’s government has said on numerous occasions that any companies who sign contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will not be elgible to bid for contracts in the rest of Iraq.

“Our position is clear. We will not deal with any oil companies that sign contracts with the KRG without the approval of the central government,” Kadhim is reported as saying.

Kadhim added that over 40 firms have paid the participation fee, which ranges from $250,000 to $500,000 depending on the oilfield the company is bidding for.

There are 10 oilfields available, most of which are undeveloped, at the December 11-12 auction.


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