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Iraq shops 12 new oil field contracts

Oil Ministry pursues negotiations with IOCs on new oil projects - a warning shot at OPEC members seeking to impose quotas.
An Iraqi worker adjusts a control valve at the Daura oil refinery on November 5, 2009 in Baghdad, Iraq. (MUHANNAD FALA'AH/Getty Images)

BAGHDAD - Iraq has opened direct negotiations with international oil companies to develop 12 oil fields and increase production - a strong signal that OPEC's second-largest producer is defying pressure to make cuts.

The surprise announcement by the Oil Ministry on Sunday included a list of 19 small and medium sized oil firms pre-qualified to make offers.

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