Some three years after Baghdad launched its upstream oil investment bonanza, the first changes in project ownership are being negotiated – farm-ins on at least four projects are under discussion, MEES learns. And at the same time the oil ministry is wrestling to come up with an appropriate structure for renegotiating some 12mn b/d of contracted production plateau targets.

All this comes as Iraq’s and the region’s famously opaque and complex oil politics have got murkier. A rift over how to restructure the upstream contracts, and more specifically how to lower what is widely regarded as unrealistically high production targets, has emerged in the ministry of oil. While not confirmed by ministry sources, MEES understands that one camp is arguing for abandoning the current bilateral ministry-company approach and instead adopt a one size-fits-all formula. (CONTINUED - 801 WORDS)