Fourth bid round companies announced

Iraq has qualified 41 companies to bid in a January auction of 12 exploration blocks.
Fourth bid round companies announced
Then-deputy oil minister Abdul Karim Luaibi speaks to the press at the initialing of a contract with Russia’s Lukoil and Norway’s Statoil for the West Qurna-2 oil field, which was signed following Iraq’s first oil auction in 2009. Statoil has since pulled out. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Ministry of Oil published the names of 41 companies pre-qualified to bid for oil and gas exploration blocks in Iraq’s fourth licensing round.The list includes the American firm Hess, which had previously been blacklisted by the ministry for signing a contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Ministry officials did not comment on its apparent change in posture, though the inclusion of Hess could be one sign of thawing relations between Baghdad and the KRG. Or there was a ...

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