BAGHDAD: Iraq will sign initial contracts in July with three foreign companies who won deals to explore oil and gas blocks in the country’s fourth energy auction, an oil official said on Friday. Iraq has set a date of July 15 to sign a deal with Pakistan Petroleum Limited for gas block 8, while it will sign an initial contract with a consortium led by Kuwait Energy for oil block 9 on July 16, Abdul-Mahdy al-Ameedi, director of the oil ministry’s contracts and licensing directorate, told Reuters. Pakistan Petroleum won gas block 8 in Diyala and Wasit provinces in eastern Iraq. Earlier, Chinese firm Zhenhua had decided not to partner with PPL and invest in Iraq due to security issues. Bidders have been deterred by tough terms of service contracts on offer, which are seen as less profitable than production sharing deals offered elsewhere.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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