Global companies negotiating multi-billion dollar oilfield deals with Iraq have not yet responded to government requests for adjustments to the contracts, a government spokesman said, contradicting an earlier Oil Ministry statement.

Ali Al Dabbagh, the Iraqi Government Spokesman said that the contracts would only be put before the cabinet after oil companies accepted changes to the nine oilfield contracts, adding only Angola’s state oil company (Sonangol) had agreed so far.

"We are still waiting for the companies to agree to the comments made by the cabinet on legal issues," highlighted Dabbagh.

A week earlier, a statement issued by the Iraqi Oil Ministry said the firms, which include oil majors such as Lukoil, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell, had agreed to amendments on "legal, operational, administrative and sovereignty issues."

Dabbagh denied the statement saying, "This news is not correct and we are not responsible for it."

Dabbagh added that the modifications were minor and to ensure the deals were compatible with Iraqi law.

If all the deals come to fruition, they could more than quadruple Iraqi oil output capacity to rival that of top global producer Saudi Arabia.

(reuters)