4th bid round delayed, Exxon still qualified

The fourth bidding round is now scheduled for May 30-31, as the model contract evolves and IOCs get time to respond.
4th bid round delayed, Exxon still qualified
Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi (r) talks to reporters at the 159th meeting of the OPEC Conference in Vienna on June 8, 2011. Iraq's planned production increase and upcoming exploration blocks bidding round will challenge Saudi Arabia for primacy of the cartel. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Oil Ministry has again pushed back its fourth contract licensing round, delaying it until May 30-31 in order to give international oil companies (IOCs) more time to evaluate a new model contract that outlines the terms of the exploration deals.

It's the fourth time the event has been delayed since its original date last November. Iraq is attempting to pull off the biggest oil boom in history with the help of the world's largest oil companies, but IOCs want better terms than the dozen deals they've signed so far.

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