Iraqi oil for sale in TV auction
Iraq has begun selling contracts to run six oil fields and two gas fields in a televised auction, which is its first big tender since the invasion of 2003, reported BBC.
The 20-year contracts have attracted bids from 31 oil firms including Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Total.
Iraqi officials say firms from nations involved in the 2003 invasion will be neither favoured nor disadvantaged.
The auction was originally planned for Monday but had to be delayed because of sandstorms in Baghdad.
"Our principal objective is to increase our oil production from 2.4 million barrels per day to more than four million in the next five years," Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani told Iraqi public television.
Iraq has the world's third-largest proven oil reserves with 115 billion barrels.