April 15, 2018, Iraq’s Oil Ministry was scheduled to take bids for eleven oil and gas fields along the Iranian and Kirkuk borders as well as offshore in the Persian Gulf. The Ministry was also rolling out a new contract for foreign energy companies, which they were supposed to receive two days before the auction. The new deals included linking oil prices to remuneration fees to the companies to try to mitigate against the constant ebb and flow in the international energy market. The introduction of new terms with a rushed bidding process was criticized, but 14 companies still showed interest. The Oil Ministry eventually backed down and delayed the auctions until April 25, so that it could continue changing the contracts. It likely took the advice that it was trying to push things ahead too quickly and taking more time would help all those involved.
Developing these fields is part of the government’s plans to boost its oil and gas production. It is hoping to achieve 6.5 million barrels a day in petroleum capacity by 2022. It is also aiming to become a major supplier of natural gas.
Kullab, Samya and Van Heuvelen, Ben, “IOCs scramble to analyze new contract model,” Iraq Oil Report, 3/29/18
Reuters, “Iraq bumps up the date for awarding new oil contracts to April 15,” 4/1/18
- “Iraq completes southern crude oil export pipeline,” 4/11/18
- “Iraq’s oil development contracts may draw 14 bidders,” 4/14/18
Sergie, Mohammed, Al Ansary, Khalid and Dipaola, Anthony, “Iraq Delays Oil Auction After Late Contract Tweaks,” Bloomberg, 4/12/18
Xinhua, “Iraq opens bid of 11 oil, gas blocks to foreign companies for exploration,” 3/26/18