Sanctioned Syrian firm qualifies for oil bid round

Iraq has qualified its 47th company eligible to bid in the May auction for exploration contracts, though it may be hampered by EU and US sanctions.
The U.N. Human Rights Council debates Syria sanctions at the United Nations in Geneva, Feb. 28, 2012. (DENIS BALIBOUSE/Reuters)

The Syrian General Oil Corp., a target of increased international sanctions against the Syrian government, has been approved by the Iraqi Oil Ministry to bid in the May 30-31 bidding round for 12 exploration blocks.

The move comes days after Iraqi oil officials said ExxonMobil will also be allowed again to bid, following a letter in which the company allegedly reiterated promises to freeze its six production sharing contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

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