Third auction: Iraq puts three gas fields on the block

Iraq aims to make push toward natural gas superpower with planned tender of three gas fields previously offered to and passed over by foreign firms.
Iraqi Southern Oil Company engineers look towards the natural gas flares in the Zubair oil field in southern Iraq on January 21, 2010. (ESSAM AL-SUDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

BAGHDAD - Iraq will attempt to tap its massive but underdeveloped natural gas reserves in an auction tentatively slated for September, offering three of its biggest fields to international oil companies.

"There are two main reasons behind this decision," said Abdul-Mahdi al-Ameedi, the director general of Iraq's Petroleum Contracts & Licensing Directorate. "First, to develop the gas industry and second, to provide gas for the power plants across the country. They need such fuel to generate electricity."

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