Iraq will not grant more oil contracts to foreign firms

21 Feb 2010

(MENAFN) Iraq’s Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki, said that the country will not grant further oilfield development contracts to foreign firms beyond the licenses that have been already awarded last year, Reuters reported.

Al-Maliki said ahead of a national election next month that Iraq should start developing its national oil firms and cautioned about staying captive in the hands of foreign oil companies.

In December, Oil Minister, Hussain Al-Shahristani, also said that there were no plans for a third oil contract auction.

Baghdad has struck several deals with foreign oil firms in order to boost its output capacity to 12 million barrels per day (bpd) within seven years from about 2.5 million bpd now.

Analysts say that oil firms have accepted the tough terms of last year’s contracts partly to secure an initial foothold in Iraq, aiming for a possible access to other untapped reserves later.

It is worth mentioning that Iraq has the world’s third-largest crude reserves and is the world’s 11th-biggest oil producer.

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