1 Jul 2009

Iraqi oil tenders flop

11:57 am on 1 July 2009

The Iraqi government's first big oil tender to run oil and gas fields in 30 years has proved to be a flop.

The government's first attempt failed to secure a deal for all but one of the eight contracts on offer, with the bidders wanting a bigger cut than Baghdad was willing to pay.

Iraq has now asked for revised bids.

Oppenheimer oil analyst Fidel Gheit says Iraq needs investment to rebuild its dilapidated oil infrastructure and oil companies want access to one of the world's bigger oil reserves to bolster their own stocks.

A consortium led by BP which included the Chinese National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), was the only foreign group to strike a deal - for the 17-billion barrel Rumaila oilfield, in the south.

An Exxon Mobil-led group rejected the government's proposed fee for the field.

The Oil Ministry failed to find takers for another huge field, Kirkuk, and for the smaller Bai Hassan, Maysan and Zubair fields.

No bids were received for the Mansuriyah gas field and no deal was agreed on the Akkas gas field.