Iraq Announces 1st September for Gas Field Auction

Baghdad, 07 May 2010 – AFP

Iraq on Thursday invited international energy firms to submit bids for a September 1 auction of three of its gas fields, in the war-torn country’s third major attempt to develop its oil and gas sector.

“We expect to receive the offers and we will open them on September 1,” Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani told reporters in Baghdad.

Since November, Baghdad has signed contracts with foreign firms to develop 10 oil fields around the country, with the aim of raising its output, currently at 2.4 million bpd, to between 10 and 12 million bpd.

Those contracts followed two oil bidding rounds held in Baghdad, the first such auctions since the energy sector was nationalised by the Baath party in 1972, seven years before now executed dictator Saddam Hussein became president.

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