Analysis: the gas field bid round – why now?

Iraq’s crude production already generates huge volumes of associated gas currently lost to flaring, yet the Oil Ministry will soon auction three dry gas fields for development. Iraqi oil insider Ahmed Mousa Jiyad asks: why?
Gas flares burn at the northern Kirkuk Oil field on Jan. 6, 2010. (MARWAN IBRAHIM/AFP/Getty Images)

Following its successful oilfield auctions last year, the Ministry of Oil announced in May 2010 that it would invite international oil and gas companies to a bid for the development of three gas fields: Akkas in western Anbar province, Mansuriyah in Diyala eastern province and Siba in the southern oil hub of Basra. Once developed, the three fields will produce about 900 million cubic feet per day (cf/d) of natural gas.

The question is: why now? The timing is puzzling for two main reasons.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.