Iraq’s Oil Ministry will reveal the details by May of areas planned for auction in its latest hydrocarbon bid round.
Speaking in London to the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), Oil Minister Abdulkarim al-Luabi said Iraq’s fifth bid round would focus on medium-sized gas fields and the areas up for auction would be revealed within three months.
The Oil Ministry announced plans for the bid round in September 2012, but did not give any details of what was on offer or the timeframe. It did say the auction would differ from previous rounds in terms of the contractual and economic conditions of the service contracts. The last bid round, held in May 2012 disappointed expectations with only three of 12 oil and gas blocks taken up.
This year could also see two other bid rounds launched by the Oil Ministry as it seeks to overhaul its hydrocarbon sector after years of war and sanctions. An auction is planned for the Nassiriya Integrated Project, which includes the development of the Nassiriya oil field in the south of Iraq and a new refinery. International oil companies have until 28 February to prequalify for the deal.
Also to come is an auction for the construction of a major crude oil export pipeline running through Iraq to Jordan, planned for April.