Months of speculation are over, no Saudis or major oil companies are coming to Akkas. In a statement published by Iraq’s oil ministry on 13 November, the board of newly-created state firm INOC said it would “accelerate” development plans for the 4.6tcf gas field’s first phase by involving just national companies. The ministry says the decision will help “attract international investment” without giving more details.

Oil minister Ihsan Ismaael previously said the field would be developed by Saudi Aramco or a US-Saudi consortium led by Schlumberger and little known Saudi private firm Delta Oil (MEES, 11 June), but ultimately no deal has been reached. Former operator Kogas of Korea is also left out in the cold. (CONTINUED - 208 WORDS)