Iraq’s fourth energy auction gets underway

Iraq_energyIraq awarded the first contract to a consortium led by Kuwait Energy. (Image source: EPA)Iraq has begun its fourth energy bidding round for exploration deals on 12 new oil and gas blocks around the country following previous government delays to the process

The fourth auction had consisted of 47 prequalified companies, but only 39 companies paid the participation fees for the event, which will run until Friday, June 1, 2012. 

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil and Tender Committee awarded the first contract to a consortium led by Kuwait Energy for an exploration and development contract for Block 9 in the southern Basra province.

The consortium included partners Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Dubai-based Dragon Oil. Kuwait Energy will be the operator of the block with a 40 per cent working interest, while TPAO and Dragon Oil will each hold a 30 per cent working interest.

Block 9 covers a 900 sq km area and the consortium’s successful remuneration fee bid was US$6.24 per barrel of oil equivalent.

No companies had bid on the first day for Block 6 between Anbar and Najaf provinces or Block 2, an 8,000 sq km gas area

The fourth round of bidding is expected to add some 10 billion barrels of crude oil and some 29 trillion cubic feet of gas to Iraq's reserves.

In its three previous bid rounds since 2003, Iraq auctioned rights to produce at oil fields already discovered or in operation, whereas the fourth round will be for new exploration.

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