Iraq’s Kurdish regional government plans to invite foreign bids on 40 new oil blocks in anticipation that the country’s controversial oil law will be passed soon. It forms part of plans to increase daily output to one million barrels in the next five years.

The government plans to hold investor conferences in Irbil, London and possibly Houston to discuss the tendering process.

“Priority will go to those companies which can move and organise themselves quickly,” a statement on the government’s website said. “This way we shall be making a great contribution to Iraq’s revenues to be shared by all, hence assisting with the reconciliation process and Iraq’s unity,” he said.

Kurdish officials last month reached an agreement with the central government in Baghdad over the fair sharing of oil revenues from the country’s oil fields, a major plank of a long-awaited new hydro-carbon law.

But there are still important areas to be thrashed out before the oil law is passed. One of the most contentious is annexes in the draft that Kurds say are unconstitutional because they wrest oilfields from regional governments and place them under a new national state oil company.