Iraq OKs six new oil companies to bid in January

Six new companies, including two implicated in the Saddam Hussein-era Oil-for-Food scandal, will be allowed to participate in a January auction for 12 exploration blocks.
A representative of Kuwait Energy casts its winning bid for the Siba gas field as oil ministry leaders look on at the Oct. 20, 2010 licensing round. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

In a sign of growing interest in Iraq's upcoming bidding round – its fourth auction for oil and gas development deals since mid-2009 – another six foreign oil companies have been pre-qualified to participate, days after an American firm was disqualified for signing deals with the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

Officials from the new firms, which hail from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, will join executives from the 40 companies already pre-qualified for a series of meetings with Iraqi Oil Ministry officials at a "roadshow" in Amman on Sept. 11 and 12.

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