AFP - Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani opened an international auction of three gas fields on Tuesday, saying the energy sector could jump-start the economy by creating jobs and providing much-needed electricity.
Iraq on Thursday invited international energy firms to submit bids for a September 1 auction of three of its gas fields, in the war-torn country's third major attempt to develop its oil and gas sector."We expect to receive the offers and we will open them on September 1," Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani told reporters in Baghdad.Since November, Baghdad has signed contracts with foreign firms to develop 10 oil fields around the country, with the aim of raising its output, currently at 2.4 million bpd, to between 10 and 12 million bpd.
Iraq will be the key player in international oil politics over the next two decades, the country's top government official for the energy sector said on Saturday."If we continue along the path we are on, Iraq will over the next two decades be the country that sets oil policy in the world in terms of price, supply and demand," Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said at a conference of Iraqi diplomats in Baghdad.
Japan's trade minister has expressed interest in cooperating with Iraq on nuclear energy, the Iraqi interim electricity minister said on Monday after talks in Baghdad."We discussed this issue with the Japanese minister, and he desires to cooperate with Iraq in this field," Hussein al-Shahristani said at a joint news conference with Akihiro Ohata, asked if they discussed nuclear energy."Iraq will study developing its peaceful nuclear industry," Shahristani said.
Iraq is "working very hard" with Washington and Tehran to reduce tensions over Iran's threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key global oil chokepoint, Baghdad's top energy official said on Sunday.Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussein al-Shahristani said such a move would lead to a "great shortage" in supply from oil producers like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran itself, and added that closure of the waterway would drive prices sharply higher.
Iraq on Sunday signed a deal with Turkey to extend for 15 years the use of the main pipeline linking its northern oilfields to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, it said in a statement.The renewal of the existing deal, which ran out in March, was the result of lengthy negotiations and comes after the new agreement was initialled by Baghdad and Ankara in June."We have signed a deal to extend use of the pipeline for 15 years," Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.
Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani said on Saturday that Iraq is seeking around 20 billion dollars to build four new refineries as it seeks to become a net exporter of petroleum products."The investment in the new refineries will be around 20 billion dollars. Each one will cost around five billion dollars," he told reporters at a conference attended by global energy and construction giants interested in bidding for the contracts.