Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said yesterday that the country hopes to offer tenders on certain oil fields as early as September for its oilfields, but this can happen only after the controversial oil law is passed.
Speaking in Moscow, he also dashed hopes that certain Russian oil companies would get preferential treatment, although said that Lukoil could have an advantage over other bidders because of its history in Iraq.
“There will be no specific talks with any company over any particular field. What will happen is that Iraq will announce the development of certain fields and all qualified oil companies can come and compete,” Mr Shahristani said.
He said the ultimate decision on all oil production in the country would rest with the Iraqi oil council, a body that includes himself and is headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
“We are now getting to the point where the Iraqi prize is about to be allocated — that is, Iraq now has the potential to be the second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia,” said Chris Weafer, chief strategist at Alfa Bank. “Nobody can be under any illusion that the final say lies with the United States,” he added though.
For once we have an analyst who is prepared to tell the truth..