Shell weighs in on Iraqi energy sector

June 3, 2009 at 12:54 PM
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 3 (UPI) -- Iraq is moving to secure foreign investments in its oil and gas fields with hopes of awarding long-term contracts perhaps by the end of June, Shell says.

Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive at Royal Dutch Shell, spoke to reporters at a world oil conference in Abu Dhabi, saying the Iraqi government would open its energy sector to foreign bidders soon.

"The bidding process, as far as we know, starts at the beginning of June or early July," he said.

Baghdad says the companies winning the bidding process would need to come forward with $2.4 billion in loans for the eight fields on the bidding block, suggesting only the oil and gas supermajors will be able to compete, the Platts news service reports.

Van der Veer did not confirm if his company was among the potential bidders, only saying company executives were on the ground in Iraq doing their "homework."

Iraq made several moves in the energy sector recently. The Kurdistan Regional Government began oil exports Monday from its Taq Taq and Tawke oil fields, while Baghdad signed recently a series of energy deals with Iran and Syria for pipeline developments.

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