Iraq has postponed its bidding session for 11 new blocks until April 25, Reuters reported.
The bidding round was originally planned to take place on April 15, meaning that the auction will be delayed by 10 days.
The oil and gas exploration and development contracts include three blocks along the Iraq-Kuwait border, seven blocks on Iraq’s border with Iran, and one offshore block in the Persian Gulf.
“The bidding process was rescheduled to be on April 25. It is just to give the companies a little bit more time to submit the bid bonds and be prepared for the bidding,” Abdul Mahdi al-Ameedi, head of the Iraqi oil ministry’s licensing and contracts office, stated.
The production companies interested include Exxon, Chevron, Total, Eni, Lukoil, Gazprom, Zarubezhneft, Petroliam Nasional Bhd, Oil & Natural Gas Corp, CNOOC, Geo-Jade Petroleum Corp, China ZhenHua Oil Co, United Energy Group Ltd, Dana Gas, Crescent Petroleum, and Dragon Oil Plc, according to an oil ministry document distributed on March 30.
Iraq may possess double the oil reserves than previously thought, putting it in competition with Venezuela for the country with the largest reserves at around the 300 billion barrels mark, Iraqi oil minister Jabar Al-Luaibi announced on March 29. The claims are yet to be verified however, while Iraq’s current proven reserves stand at roughly 153 billion barrels.