Exxon Mobil Corp., Total SA and Lukoil PJSC are among international companies interested to win rights to develop 11 oil and gas border fields as OPEC's number two producer continues to build production capacity.
Iraq plans to hold a bidding round on April 15 and award service contracts the same day for companies to develop 11 onshore and offshore fields along the borders with Iran and Kuwait, Abdul Mahdy Al-Ameedi, the Oil Ministry's director-general for upstream oil contracts, said Thursday at an event in Baghdad to show details of the fields to the companies.
The 16 companies that expressed interest also include Chevron Corp., Eni SpA, Gazprom PJSC., Zarubezhneft OAO, Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Oil & Natural Gas Corp., Cnooc Ltd., Geo-Jade Petroleum Corp., China ZhenHua Oil Co., United Energy Group Ltd., Dana Gas PJSC, Crescent Petroleum Co. and Dragon Oil Plc, according to an Oil Ministry document distributed on Thursday.
Iraq has been ramping up crude production and exports over the last few years as the country overcomes decades of conflict and sanctions. The country has become the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, though it's now bound by the group's agreement with other major producers to keep limits on their output to reduce global inventories. Iraq produced 4.36 million barrels of crude a day in March.
Iraq plans to develop three blocks along the border with Kuwait, which are Khidr Al-Maa, Jabal Sinam and al-Fao, Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said by phone. It will also auction rights for seven areas at the border with Iran, which are Sindibad, Huwaiza, Shahabi, Zerbatia, Naftkhana, Injana and Khashm Ahmar, and Klabat wa Gumar. Also on offer is the offshore Al-Khaleej Al-Arabi block in the nation's waters on the Persian Gulf, he said.