The spokesman of the Iraqi Oil Ministry said on Sunday that the ministry is working to complete the preparations for the fourth oil licensing round.
Assem Jihad told AKnews that the fourth round of licences will include the provinces of Najaf, Karbala, Samawa, Diwaniya and Anbar, which were not included in the previous rounds.
"The tour will include the announcement of the exploratory sites and then invie the international companies to develop and rehabilitate the oil fields, and after that a meeting will be held with the companies working in these fields."
"Iraq is seeking through the next rounds to explore more oil fields and develop the country's infrastructure and train the cadres and intesify the oil drilling operations and the formation of exploratory committees."
Iraq has the third largest oil reserves in the world after the Iraqi Oil Ministry announced the increase of oil reserves by 25 per cent to 143.1 billion barrels in October.
Major oil companies signed agreements to extract Iraq's oil reserves and this is planned to boost Iraq's production capacity to 12 million barrels per day from 2.5 million bpd during the next six years.
KOGAS of South Korea and KazMunaiGas of Kazakhstan won a contract to develop the Akkas gas fields in Anbar province in the third licensing round launched by the ministry late last year, but the signing of the deal has been repeatedly delayed.
A group led by "Kuwait Energy Company" (KEC) won the Ceiba[Siba] gas contract in Basra, southern Iraq, while the TPAO, KEC and Kogas company won the license contract of gas field in Mansourieh, which is located near the Iranian border in Diyala province.
45 companies worldwide have competed to win the development of three fields in the third licensing round, after the first and second licensing rounds were limited to developing 10 discovered un exploited oil fields.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry had announced last September that crude oil inventories in the country reached to 505 billion barrels of discovered fields that are 66, with total recoverable reserves of 143 billion barrels.