Baghdad has extended the deadline for its latest oil and gas licensing round to March 2012 in order to give companies more time to prepare their bids.

The original date for bids to be submitted was January and the promotional event to accompany the bidding process has also now been pushed back from November to December.

A total of 46 companies have been prequalified to bid for 12 exploration blocks. A total of seven concessions are available covering 80,700 square kilometres.