No Move to Auction More Oilfields, Says Iraq

Baghdad, 12 May 2010 - Reuters

Iraq’s two remaining supergiant oilfields, Kirkuk and East Baghdad, are not on the table for joint development with international oil firms following two oil contract bidding rounds last year, a senior Iraqi oil official said yesterday.

Emerging from violence, Iraq is in desperate need of billions of dollars to rebuild. It signed 10 deals with global oil companies to develop some of its largest oilfields, in a bid to boost its crude output capacity to near Saudi Arabian levels of 12mn bpd from 2.5mn bpd now.

Not all the oilfields that were auctioned in the two bidding rounds were awarded.

No deals were struck for the supergiant 8.1bn-barrel East Baghdad oilfield or the Kirkuk fields with an estimated 8.5bn barrels in reserves. Nor were bids made for the smaller Eastern Fields and Middle Furat.

Iraq and Royal Dutch Shell briefly explored the possibility of reviving talks over Kirkuk after the first bidding round last year, according to Iraqi officials, and there have also been some discussions over East Baghdad.

But Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, director of the Oil Ministry’s licensing and contracting office, said that there were no talks now with any foreign oil companies to develop the fields.

“We have offers from many companies, they want to develop them but really we don’t,” al-Ameedi told Reuters in an interview.

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