By John Lee.
The Iraqi Cabinet has authorised the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) to negotiate directly with US oil company Chevron to develop four oil fields in Dhi Qar Governorate.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Oil, the fields constitute the Nasiriyah block, which has a target output of 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd) over a seven-year period.
The announcement follows last month's approval by Iraq's Ministerial Energy Council for discussions to go ahead.
Chevron currently has interests in the Sarta and Qara Dagh blocks in Iraqi Kurdistan.
(Source: Ministry of Oil)