BAGHDAD (Dow Jones Newswires), Apr. 25, 2011
Iraq is to auction 12 oil and gas fields to foreign companies in January 2012, Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi said on Monday.
"The auction will take place in the first month of 2012," Luaybi told reporters in Baghdad.
The auction will be "for 12 exploration blocs, seven for gas and five for oil," he said.
The auction is the fourth round of bidding for foreign companies, following similar sales in July and December 2009 as well as last October.
Iraq has so far signed 11 oil contracts with international energy companies following the two auctions in 2009. Last year, it also awarded three gas fields for exploitation, vying to become an international player in the gas market.
The country produces around 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, of which about 80% is exported. Oil sales account for some 90% of Iraqi government revenue.
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