In a surprising move, Iraq’s cabinet on 7 January authorized the oil ministry to “invite” Russian state firm Gazprom to further develop the 90,000 b/d-capacity Nasiriya oilfield in Dhi Qar province.

The Russian state firm – the announcement from the PM’s office mentions Gazprom, but it could mean the firm’s oil-focused subsidiary Gazprom Neft – will be offered a “single-sourced” contract and exempted from bidding and pre-qualification requirements. The statement says Gazprom will be involved in the “integrated Nasiriya oilfield development project.” This is a reference to plans, which had appeared defunct, to develop the field in tandem with a 150,000 b/d refinery. Offered as a single package, the proposal was pitched to TotalEnergies in 2018 but commercial terms kept the major away (MEES, 7 December 2018). (CONTINUED - 157 WORDS)