Reuters reports that four international oil companies(IOCs) have shown an interest in developing the Nassiriyah oilfield in Iraq.
A senior oil official said on Sunday that Iraq may hold a mini-auction for the largely undeveloped field, following a number of unsucessful attempts to reach agreement with foreign firms.
Talks with a Japanese group led by Nippon Oil, a unit of JX Holdings, reached a dead end over financing issues last year and Iraq said it would develop the field itself.
Then, earlier this year, a government official said Iraq planned to invite oil companies to bid on the field, listed as having reserves under 5 billion barrels.
Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of the oil ministry's contracts and licensing directorate, said Nippon, ENI , Chevron and Repsol had submitted proposals, but added that Repsol was not qualified and only the other three would be invited to bid.
"If we would like to do so, we will hold a mini bidding round and we will ask companies to participate," Ameedi said at a meeting with oil companies in Amman, Jordan. "They would have to develop the field and a refinery with a capacity of 300,000 bpd (barrels per day)."