Petrel resources applied to participate in the fourth oil licencing round in Iraq, but has not been pre-qualified.
The eventual criteria adopted by the Iraqi authorities were heavily weighted (over 50%) towards financial size and strength, rather than practical experience working in Iraqi conditions.
As a result no juniors or smaller independent oil companies have been qualified for the bid rounds. The qualified list includes the oil & gas super-majors, many national oil companies and some large international independent oil companies.
Petrel will continue direct discussions on its existing interest in Western Desert Block 6.
Petrel will also seek direct negotiations on smaller fields that have not been awarded in the bid rounds.
David Horgan, Managing Director, commented: "Petrel is a junior oil company, focused on Iraq. We have worked continuously with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil since 1999.
"We were disappointed not to have qualified for the current bid round process. Our application was initially well received, but the ultimate criteria were heavily weighted towards large company strengths such as financial depth, rather than technical and practical experience working on the ground in Iraq.
"As a result, neither Petrel nor other juniors were qualified...Accordingly we will pursue direct negotiations on our existing interests in Western Desert Block 6 and possibly for future development of smaller oil fields that are not part of the bid process.
"Failure to qualify is a set-back, but we have overcome many similar challenges since starting Iraqi work twelve years ago.
"Petrel is well funded and ready to move once necessary approvals are obtained."