Four years since Iraq’s lackluster fourth upstream licensing round concluded in May with just three blocks awarded, the government is again looking to secure foreign investment (MEES, 4 June 2012). The Ministry of Oil announced on 13 October that 12 fields are to be offered to companies. But in a change of strategy the acreage on offer is to be awarded through direct negotiations rather than a licensing round.

Furthermore, a ministry statement says that these negotiations will “be used as a basis for awarding the fields’ development and production contracts to the IOCs after agreement on the terms and conditions of the contracts.” Under the previous licensing rounds, contract form was determined by the ministry. (CONTINUED - 1397 WORDS)