In another gain for Chinese firms in Iraq, the long-delayed project to develop the 4.5tcf Mansuriya gas field just north of Baghdad is going to Sinopec. The Chinese state firm will take up operatorship with 49%, while 51% will be retained by the Ministry of Oil’s Midland Oil Company.

This week’s award of Mansuriya to Sinopec has surprised observers. As recently as February, oil minister Ihsan Ismaael announced that his ministry had failed to secure interest from international majors, leaving Iraq looking to “second tier” companies instead (MEES, 19 February). (CONTINUED - 945 WORDS)