Iraq welcomes oil firms to qualify again

Iraq's Oil Ministry has opened a new pre-qualification application process for firms that didn't pass the cut for the first round of oil and gas field bidding.

"The Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate (PCLD) of the Ministry of Oil is pleased to announce the second pre-qualification process to qualify the non-qualified International Oil Companies, which were not qualified in the First Licensing Round, in addition to the IOCs that did not submit their documents in the said round," PCLD Director General Natik Al-Bayati said in an announcement released Monday.


Interested firms have until Feb. 1 to complete a new application process, which includes a non-refundable payment of $10,000. The ministry on Dec. 31 announced another 12 individual oil and gas fields or collection of fields that will be offered for bidding by international oil companies.

In October, the ministry met with representatives of 41 pre-qualified international oil companies, giving details of eight oil and gas fields -- the largest in Iraq -- up for bid in a first phase of bringing outside investment to develop the fields.

More than 100 companies applied to qualify to bid but were rejected by the ministry for reasons including size and investment in oil ventures in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, which the Iraqi Oil Ministry calls illegitimate.


Fields in the second round of bidding are understood to be oil fields Majnoon and West Qurna, Halfaya, East Baghdad, Gharrafa, Qayara, Najmah, Badrah, Kifil/West/Mirjan and a group in Diyala province (Qamar and Gullabat), as well as the Naudman and Siba gas fields.


Ben Lando, UPI Energy Editor


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