Japan Hopes for Stakes in Iraq Nassiriya Oil Field



TOKYO (Dow Jones Newswires), Jul. 9, 2009

Japan reiterated Thursday its hope to get a stake in Iraq's Nassiriya oil field.

Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Toshihiro Nikai, who met with Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani in Tokyo Thursday, requested special consideration of stakes sought by Japanese companies at Nassiriya and other oil and gas fields, said a senior METI official who also attended the meeting.

Shahristani told Nikai that Iraq would welcome Japanese companies' interest in the fields, the official said.

The Iraqi oil minister is visiting Japan to attend a seminar on Iraq investment opportunities to be held in Tokyo Friday.

A consortium that includes Nippon Oil Corp., Japan's largest refiner by capacity, Inpex Corp. and JGC Corp. is seeking stake in the oil field, which is expected to be awarded outside planned Iraqi government auctions.

Italy's Eni SpA, Nippon Oil and Spain's Repsol YPF SA are competing for a contract to develop the field, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said in January.

The field, with an estimated crude oil reserve of around 4 billion barrels, could produce up to 300,000 barrels a day, Iraqi oil experts say.  

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