ISTANBUL, Turkey, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A lower fee for the next round of Iraqi oil contracts set for November may not be enough to entice international energy companies to take part, analysts say.
Iraqi oil officials at a summit in Istanbul announced the next round of post-war oil contracts would go on the auction block in November.
The first round in June failed to secure anything more than minor interest as international energy companies were frightened off by security concerns and stiff government requirements.
Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said Baghdad would ask for $1.2 billion in signature bonuses for the next contracts, down from $2.6 billion in the June auction.
"Some oil companies told us that the level of the signature bonus in the first bidding round has affected their fees in a very significant way," he told the delegates in Istanbul.
The bonus, however, is not refundable, and analysts say the remaining provisions in the contract do little to allay the concerns raised in June, Emirati newspaper The National reports.
"Companies were unwilling to go for the biggest fields on offer anywhere in the world in the first round," said Samuel Ciszuk, a Middle East energy analyst at IHS Global Insight. "Would they really go for smaller fields, some of them in riskier parts of Iraq, on the same terms?"