WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) -- Iraq's Oil Ministry has extended to May 18 the bid deadline for the Akkas gas field project, aimed at developing the gas field for export to Syria and Europe.
Eligible companies had until April 24 to offer a "detail design, HAZOP study and procurement of all equipment and required materials" for the field near the Syrian border, according to the new tender issued on the ministry's Web site. The pipelines have already been purchased and are not included in the tender.
Shell, Total and Edison are the largest companies to have made overtures to develop the Akkas gas field, which will be overseen by the State Company for Oil Projects.
It has 7 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves and is capable of producing about 50 million cubic feet per day initially. It's located in Anbar province and, even more than the rest of Iraq, it depends on increased and maintained security.
Syria and Europe are pressing hard for the project to move forward. Syria sees it as a relatively low-effort project to import needed energy supplies. As production from the field increases, it could feed into the Arab Gas Pipeline, which is projected to link to Turkey later this year and then into Europe.
Last week Iraq pledged to cooperate with Europe on energy issues and has been in dialogue with Damascus.
Ben Lando, UPI Energy Editor