41 firms have been selected for Iraq’s next bidding round


The Iraqi oil ministry has named the 41 international companies that have been selected to compete for 12 exploration blocks in the next bidding round which is scheduled to take place in January 2012.

Iraq has estimated that the new blocks would add some 10 billion barrels of oil to Iraq's current reserves of 143 billion barrels, and some 29 trillion cubic feet of gas to its current reserves of 112.6 trillion cubic feet, the ministry said in statement Monday

Among the companies qualified by the ministry for the licensing auction are some of the world's oil majors such as BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Lukoil, Total, China National Petroleum Corp., Eni, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) and Chevron.

The list also includes nine Japanese firms. They are, among others, INPEX, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., or JOGMEC, Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. Ltd, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., or JX-NOEX, Itochu, Mitsubishi, and Japan Petroleum exploration Co. Ltd, known as Japex.

Two Arab companies were also listed by the ministry. They are Mubadala Oil & Gas of the UAE, and Kuwait Energy of Kuwait.

The ministry said the chosen companies are among 50 firms who submitted applications and documents to take part in the bidding round.

Many of the listed companies have won deals to upgrade Iraq's vast oil and gas fields. Iraq has held three bidding rounds in the past two years to auction off 15 of the country's biggest oil and gas fields.

Three of the announced blocks are located in the western Anbar province while two others are shared by the Anbar, Nineveh and Najaf governorates. The sixth is in Nineveh governorate in northern Iraq. These six are believed to contain gas resources, oil ministry officials said.

The remaining five blocks, believed to contain crude oil resources, are located in other governorates including Basra, Dhi Qar (Nassiriyah), Muthanna (Samawa), Babil, Najaf, Wasit and Diyala provinces.

The size of the blocks range from 5,500 sq km to 9,000 sq km.


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