6 Apr 2018 18:02

Gazprom Neft considering participation in next licensing round in Iraq, assessing Zurbatia block next to Badra

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) - Gazprom Neft is considering participating in the next licensing round in Iraq, the company's press service told Interfax.

"The company is conducting an assessment of the blocks and fields put up for tender, including the Zurbatia block, which has operational synergy with the Badra project [operated by Gazprom Neft]. The decision to participate in specific projects will be made following technical and economic assessment including of the conditions of the new contract after it is presented by the Iraqi Petroleum Ministry," a spokesperson said.

Iraq is planning to conclude contracts for the development of 11 oil fields on the Iraq-Kuwait border on June 21. Of the 26 companies, certified by the Petroleum Ministry to take part in auctions for the right to develop fields, 15 companies have bought the data packet.

According to the ministry, the companies which have purchased information about the tender are: Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Total, Eni, Gazprom , Lukoil , Zarubezhneft, Petronas, ONGC, CNOOC, Geo-Jade Petroleum, ZhenHua Oil, United Energy Group, Dana Gas, Crescent Petroleum and Dragon Oil.

The fifth licensing round includes both onshore and offshore fields.

Lukoil President Vagit Alekperov said in January that the company had bought materials for the fifth licensing round in Iraq but that an investment decision had not yet been made.

The Russian companies currently operating in Iraq are Lukoil, Gazprom Neft and Bashneft .

The Badra project has been underway since 2010; Gazprom Neft is the operator for the development of the oil field. Current production at the field is around 4.4 million tonnes per year.