BAGHDAD, Jan 12 (Reuters) - The Iraqi oil ministry said on Friday 26 companies have qualified to bid for oil and gas blocks in border areas.
Five companies qualified recently to take part in the bidding round, alongside 21 others already selected, the ministry said in a statement.
In November Iraq invited foreign companies to bid for contracts to explore and develop oil and natural gas reserves in nine new blocks as the OPEC nation seeks to boost its output capacity.
The bidding terms will be finalised by the end of May and the ceremony to open the bids will be held on June 21.
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Jason Neely)