Companies are required to register interest for the western Akkas field tender by 24 April.

The field, which has estimated reserves of 2.15 trillion cubic feet, has previously been tested by the UK/Dutch Shell Group as part of its role in preparing a gas masterplan for Iraq in recent years.

The second tender requires firms to file interest by 30 April for 3D seismic testing of the Rumaila field, which is estimated to hold about 18 billion barrels of oil, and the Kirkuk field, which has more than 10 billion barrels of remaining proven oil reserves.

The ministry has also invited companies to submit proposals by 24 April for the engineering, design, study and procurement of materials for an oil pipeline linking the Basra oil fields in southern Iraq with Iran’s Abadan refinery.

The moves are part of Baghdad’s plans to more than double oil production within five years in tandem with international oil companies.

Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani has said that two licensing rounds covering existing fields and three further large fields will result in the state’s oil production soaring to 6 million barrels a day (b/d) by 2013, from its current 2.4 million b/d (MEED 8:2:08).