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Iraq announces November bidding round

Exploration & Production

International oil and gas companies will compete for access to another 12 oil and gas projects in Iraq in November, this time to prospect on exploration blocks.

The date for the upcoming bid round, Iraq's fourth since 2009, was announced by Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi. He also outlined a four-year plan that would see both oil production and export capacity more than double through 2014.

Mr Abdul Karim Luaibi said that 70 per cent of the areas hold natural gas, while the remainder hold a combination of oil and gas. "We expect to get 29 billion cubic feet of natural gas in addition to 10 billion barrels of crude oil in these 12 areas," he said.

Iraq has held three international bidding rounds since late 2009 to attract international companies to invest in the country's oil and gas industry. Details about the upcoming bid round have not been revealed.

In the last round of contracts, awarded in September, foreign investors secured deals worth billions of dollars in both the infrastructure and energy sectors.