Monday, 15 November 2010
Iraq signs natural gas contracts with three foreign investors
Kuwait Energy, Turkiye Petrolleri and Korea Gas have signed contracts to develop Iraq's Mansouriya and Siba gas fields, after winning rights to work on the deposits last month. Iraq delayed signing an agreement for a third natural gas field, Akkas, in order to clear up the “misunderstanding” over the planned use of fuel from the deposit, said Iraq's Oil Ministry's Deputy Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi. The signing for Akkas will take place after this week's Eid al-Adha holiday.
The foreign investors will work together with Iraq's North Oil Company (NOC) to start production in the gas areas. However, the agreements must first receive approval from deputy director general at the ministry's Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate before any work commences.
The contracts, awarded last month in the country's first auction of gas concessions, mark a further move in Iraq's efforts to develop its oil and gas resources. Kuwait Energy, Turkiye Petrolleri and Korea Gas won rights to develop the Mansouriya field and pledged to produce 320 million standard cubic feet of gas a day. Kuwait Energy and Turkiye Petrolleri also won bidding for the Sib a field, agreeing to produce 100 million standard cubic feet of gas a day.
Korea Gas and Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGaz won the rights to develop Akkas, the largest of the three gas fields for which Iraq's government awarded licenses on 20th October. The two partners, with equal stakes in their bidding group, agreed to produce 400 million standard cubic feet of gas a day.
Iraq wants foreign investors to help it increase production of oil and gas to stimulate a recovery after years of conflict and economic sanctions. Iraq has the world's fifth-largest oil reserves, and its gas reserves rank fifth in size in the Middle East.
For more news and expert analysis about Iraq, please see Iraq Focus.