Just days after it was reported that Iraq was in the final stages of signing short-term service contracts with four oil giants, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani announced that long-term contracts on six existing oil fields will be opened to global bidding.
Iraq Opens Oil Fields To Global Bidding
60% Increase In Output Sought
By Sudarsan Raghavan and Steven Mufson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, July 1, 2008; Page A01
BAGHDAD, June 30 -- Iraq's government invited foreign firms Monday to help boost the production of the country's major oil fields, beginning a global competition for access to the world's third-largest reserves.
Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said the government would seek to tap Western technology and capital to increase Iraqi oil production by about 60 percent, or approximately 1.5 million barrels a day, swelling Iraqi oil revenue and potentially easing tight petroleum markets where prices have doubled in the past year.
Shahristani said 35 companies -- including firms from the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and India -- had been selected to bid on long-term contracts to provide services, equipment, training and advice on the country's biggest oil fields, which have suffered from age, technological neglect and mismanagement during years of war and economic sanctions.