Iraq’s Oil Ministry plans to sign deals with international oil companies to develop two major oil fields in the first week of November.

On 2 November, the ministry will award a licence to develop the Zubair field to a consortium of Italy’s Eni, South Korea’s Kogas and US oil major Occidental Petroleum, according to a ministry spokesman.

On 3 November, it will formally ratify a deal with the UK’s BP and China National Petroleum Corporation to develop the Rumaila oil field. Iraq’s cabinet has already approved the Rumaila deal.

Companies will bid for fields in Iraq’s second oil licence round on 11-12 December.

The ministry is offering licences covering 10 as yet undeveloped oil and gas fields.

The fields include the highly prized Majnoon field in Basra province and West Qurna phase 2, which holds about six billion barrels of oil.

The remaining fields include Halfaya, East Baghdad, Gharraf, Qavara, Najmah, Badrah and Merjan/Kifl/West Kifl.

Iraq is also offering an Eastern Block comprising the Gilabat, Khashm al-Ahmr, Nau Doman and Qumar fields.