Unlike the other 12 blocks awarded during Iraq’s 10-12 May upstream bidding round (MEES, 17 May), which were largely won with uncontested bids from Chinese firms, the Daimah block in southeastern Maysan province attracted multiple offers, including from Shell with Adnoc, and separately Russian giant Lukoil.

The Shell-Adnoc consortium presented the round’s only joint bid. But Daimah was won by well-connected Iraqi Kurdish conglomerate Kar Group, which underbid Shell/Adnoc, Lukoil, and four separate Chinese bids (see table). Iraq’s inflexible bidding blindly favored least ‘remuneration percentage’ bid, with no consideration given to the capabilities or heft (financial or political) of the firms placing bids. (CONTINUED - 1858 WORDS)