Iraq has delayed its 4th energy bidding round to March 7-8 next year, according to a report from Reuters.
"We wanted to give energy companies more time to study the contract terms and also to take into account upcoming holidays like Muslims Eid and Christmas," Sabah Abdul-Kadhim, the head of the legal section of Iraq's Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate, told the news agency.
The auction to award contracts for gas and oil exploration in 12 new blocs was scheduled to have taken place on Jan. 25-26, but Iraq's oil ministry decided to push the date back for technical reasons.
Iraq has qualified 46 energy companies to participate in the auction which is expected to add 29 trillion cubic feet of gas and 10 billion barrels of oil to Iraqi reserves.
Under revised timeframes, energy companies reportedly have until Nov. 11 to submit their feedback on the exploration model contracts and a final tender protocol and final contract will be published on Jan. 27, Abdul-Kadhim said.
Iraq set a new deadline of February 3 for interested companies to pay the participation fees.