Iraq will sign preliminary contracts, from Sunday, with oil companies that bid successfully last week for seven fields, oil ministry spokesperson Assem Jihad said.
The contracts will then be submitted to the cabinet for final approval.
This comes after Iranian troops who for three days controversially occupied a disputed border oil well left the facility during the night but remain on Iraq’s soil, Iraqi officials said on Sunday.
According to US officials in the area, Well 4 lies in disputed territory about 500-metres from an Iranian border fort and about one kilometre from an Iraqi border fort. Well 4 is in the Fauqa Field, part of a cluster of oilfields which Iraq unsuccessfully put up for auction to oil majors in June.
The field has estimated reserves of 1.55 million barrels.
Iraq holds the world’s third-largest crude oil reserves after Saudi Arabia and Iran, with some 115 billion barrels. But wars and the embargo imposed in 1990 have hampered the exploration and development of its oil resources for decades.
Production currently stands at 2.4 million barrels a day, about two million of which are exported. Iraqi oil revenues represent 85 percent of government receipts.
Below are the contracts to be signed
- On Sunday, the consortium comprised of Anglo-Dutch firm Shell (60%) and Malaysia’s Petronas (40%), will sign a pre-contract for the development of Majnoon, with estimated reserves of 12.58 billion barrels.
On Monday, Petronas will again sign in a 60-40 partnership with Japanese firm Japex a pre-contract to exploit the Garraf field, whose reserves are estimated at 863 million barrels.
- On Tuesday, a consortium grouping China’s CNPC International (50%), France’s Total (25%) and Petronas (25%) are due to sign for the exploitation of the Halfaya field which has estimated reserves of 4.09 billions barrels.
- On Thursday, the group consisting of Russia’s Gazprom (40%), Turkish firm TPAO (10%), South Korea’s Kogas (30 percent) and Petronas (20%) will ink a pre-contract to develop the 109-million-barrel Badra field.
- On December 29, Russia’s Lukoil (85%) and Norway’s StatoilHydro (15%) will ratify the preliminary contract to exploit West Qurna-2, the largest field to be awarded in the latest auction, with reserves of 12.876 billion barrels.
- Finally, on December 30, Angolan firm Sonangol will sign the two preliminary contacts it won that cover the Najmah and Qaiyarah fields in the northern Ninevah region, which contain estimated reserves of 858 and 807 million barrels, respectively. – AFP