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Iraq approves all 5th bidding round deals, aims to boost gas supply

With Iranian gas imports dwindling and U.S. sanctions threats looming, Iraq takes steps aimed at quickly addressing both challenges.
An official from the China ZhenHua Oil Company bids in the fifth bidding round on April 26, 2018. (SAMYA KULLAB/Iraq Oil Report)

Nearly two years after awarding development and exploration deals in a bidding round to foreign oil companies, Iraq's Cabinet on Thursday authorized the Oil Ministry to sign all six contracts, which one senior Iraqi official said could happen as soon as next week.

The projects are slated to provide significant new natural gas production for Iraq, potentially reducing its reliance on Iranian gas, and likely giving a boost to Iraqi and American advocates for renewing a waiver related to Iranian sanctions that expires Feb. 13.

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