Iraq’s Ministry of Oil said the shortlist had been trimmed from 120 interested companies but declined to say which firms failed to make the cut.

A range of criteria were used to rank companies for qualification, including technical, financial, legal, training and health and safety standards.

The five-year plan to boost oil production will begin with the first licensing round in the third quarter of 2008 (MEED 8:2:08).

The first round of tenders will focus on the development of existing fields, including South Rumeila and North Rumeila, West Qurna, Zubair, Missan, Kirkuk and the western Akkas gas field.

Technical service agreements have previously been signed with IOCs including ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, all of of the US, the UK/Dutch Shell Group and the UK’s BP.

The companies qualified to bid are:

  1. Anadarko Iraq

  2. BG Group (UK)

  3. BHP Billiton (Australia)

  4. BP (UK)

  5. Chevron Iraq

  6. China National Offshore Oil Corporation

  7. China National Petroleum Corporation

  8. ConocoPhillips

  9. Edison International (Italy)

  10. Eni (Italy)

  11. ExxonMobil Corporation

  12. Hess Corporation (US)

  13. Inpex Holding (Japan)

  14. Japex (Japan)

  15. JSC Gazprom Neft (Russia)

  16. Kogas (South Korea)

  17. Lukoil (Russia)

  18. Maersk Oil (Denmark)

  19. Marathon International Petroleum (US)

  20. Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan)

  21. Nexen (Canada)

  22. Nippon Oil (Japan)

  23. Occidental Petroleum (US)

  24. ONGC (India)

  25. Petronas (Malaysia)

  26. Pertamina (Indonesia)

  27. Premier Oil (UK)

  28. Repsol (Spain)

  29. Shell Iraq

  30. Sinochem (China)

  31. Sinopec (China)

  32. Statoil Hydro (Norway)

  33. Total (France)

  34. Wintershall (Germany)

  35. Woodside (Australia)