Ministry presses forward on deals

Abdul Karim Luaibi has been on the job less than a month, but his Oil Ministry appears to be building momentum toward holding a fourth bidding round and jump-starting stalled deals.
Then-deputy oil minister Abdul Karim Luaibi speaks to the press at the initialing of a contract with Russia’s Lukoil and Norway’s Statoil for the West Qurna-2 oil field, which was signed following Iraq’s first oil auction in 2009. Statoil has since pulled out. (AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

BAGHDAD - Iraq's Oil Ministry has given more details about a new bidding round for exploration blocks and a renewed effort to sign a contract for the Nassiriya oil field.

Speaking at a symposium to help facilitate foreign oil companies’ work, Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi said he expects Iraq’s fourth bidding round – this one for exploration contracts – to draw even more than the 45 companies who qualified for previous rounds.

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