Iraq postpones bidding on gas fields till October
Iraqi Oil Ministry said Monday that it has postponed its third energy auction to develop three gas fields until October.
"The bidding for the gas fields of Akkas in Iraq's western province of Anbar, Mansuriyah in eastern Diyala province and Siba in the southern province of Basra, would be held on October 1 instead of September 1," Assem Jihad, spokesman of the ministry told Xinhua.
"The reason behind this delay is to give the international companies more time to study the contracts," he said.
Jihad also said that his ministry is holding a workshop for the interested firms in Istanbul on Sunday and Monday to discuss the details of the new bidding round on the three gas fields and the terms of their contracts.
On May 6, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani invited international energy firms to take part in the third round of bidding which was set to be held on September 1 to develop the three gas fields.
"The first goal behind such auction is to meet Iraq's increasing need for natural gas to provide new power plants that the country plans to build, and the second goal is to develop the gas fields in order to export the natural gas to the world," Shahristani said at a press conference.
Iraq has proven reserves of 112 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, but because of the poor infrastructure of the oil and gas industries, the country is only producing 1.5 billion cubic feet a day.
Last year, Iraq signed contracts to develop 10 oil fields in two auctions, aiming at giving the country the potential to increase its oil output capacity, which is currently at roughly 2.5 million barrel per day (bpd), to be 12 million bpd in six or seven years.