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Iraq to announce 1st round oil tenders this month

June 12, 2008
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According to the Associated Press, the Iraqi Oil Ministry this month will announce the first round of tenders to develop several vast oil fields, a spokesman said recently.

About 35 out of more than 70 international firms are qualified to compete for development of Iraq''s oil reserves, seen as vital to supplying funds for rebuilding the shattered country.

Among the top contenders are Royal Dutch Shell PLC, British Petroleum PLC, ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.

The Oil Ministry is currently preparing contract models for the first group of oil fields, spokesman Assem Jihad told The Associated Press. Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani will announce the tenders on June 30, he said.

Jihad did not specify which oil fields would be included in the first round of tenders.

Iraq, which holds the world''s third-largest crude oil reserves with an estimated 115 billion barrels, aims to boost crude production to 3 million barrels per day by the end of this year.

The country currently produces 2.5 million barrels a day, the highest level of production since the March 2003 US-led invasion.
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