Iraq Delays Model Contract for Oil Field Bid Round

AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), Apr. 21, 2009

Iraq has delayed sending final model contracts for the eight oil and gas fields included in its landmark first bidding round, possibly until the end of April, a person close to the Oil Ministry said Tuesday.

"Final model contracts were supposed to be sent to international companies between April 15-17," the person said, but that date has been moved.

He said the delay was because Iraqi officials from the Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate, or PCLD, delayed a meeting with Gaffney, Cline & Associates Ltd. which provides consultancy for the Oil Ministry on the bidding round.

The meeting took place in Istanbul April 18, but was supposed to take place at the beginning of the month. No reason was given for the delay. Iraqi oil officials weren't available to comment.

Iraq sent two types of model contracts, one for oil fields and the other for gas fields, to international oil companies March 19 and asked them to present comments on these by April 1.

The official said companies need to submit their offers to the PCLD by the end of June.

The oil fields in questions are the giant Kirkuk and Bai Hassan in the north; North and South Rumaila, West Qurna phase 1, Zubair and Missan in the South. The two gas fields are Akkas and Mansouriah in central Iraq.  

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