Oil Majors Seen Bidding for Iraq's Prized Oil Fields



BAGHDAD (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 29, 2009

Several major oil companies are expected to bid Tuesday for eight prized Iraqi oil and gas fields listed in the first such tender in more than three decades, Iraqi oil and company sources close to the negotiations said Monday.

International oil firms are being tight-lipped about which Iraqi fields they are targeting.

While nothing definitive can be said, BP PLC is understood to be concentrating on Iraq's largest oil field, the 17 billion barrel Rumaila in southern Iraq, having negotiated for it in the aborted technical support contracts round last year, the sources said.

Chevron Corp. is teaming up with Total SA, and Lukoil Holdings with ConocoPhilips, to bid for the West Qurna Phase 1. The field has proven crude oil reserves of 8.6 billion barrels.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC is expected to bid for the Kirkuk oil field in northern Iraq, on which it negotiated with the Oil Ministry during the TSC round. Turkey's TPAO held talks with Shell to team up for Kirkuk, the sources said.

ConocoPhillips and Marathon Corp. are interested in bidding for Bai Hassan oil field which is near the Kirkuk field, the sources added. "ConocoPhillips conducted a study on Bai Hassan with the assistance of the Oil Ministry," an Iraqi oil industry told Dow Jones Newswires.

"Both ExxonMobil and Italy's Eni are looking at Zubair oil field in southern Iraq," a company executive said. ExxonMobil negotiated over the field with the government during the TSCs round last year.

Japan's Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp. are both interested on Missan oil fields which are currently producing 110,000 barrels a day and have a potential to produce more than 275,000 barrels a day.

Italy's Edison SpA is believed to be the main bidder for the 4 trillion cubic feet Akkas gas field. Sources said Edison had teamed up with four Asian companies for the field in the western Anbar province.

India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd., Canada's Nexen Corp., Norway's StatoilHydro have also put significant resources into studying Iraq and they are likely to be serious bidders, they said. Italy's Eni SpA, Spain's Repsol YPF and Japan's Nippon are competing for the Nassiriyah oil field which is outside the first bidding round. The fate of Nassiriyah field could determine each company's interest in the bid round. Repsol reported to be out of the race for the field, with a production potential of 125,000 barrels a day.

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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