Iraq Plans to Sign Oil, Gas Exploration Agreements in November

Iraq will sign oil and gas exploration contracts next month with Pakistan Petroleum Ltd.,Inpex Corp. (1605) of Japan, London-based Premier Oil Plc (PMO) and Russia’sOAO Lukoil (LKOH) and OAO Bashneft, an Oil Ministry official said.

The government announced two of the agreements in May, when it last auctioned energy rights, and the third in June.

Iraq will sign an agreement on Nov. 5 with Pakistan Petroleum (PPL) for natural gas exploration in Block 8 in eastern Iraq, Sabah Abdel Kadhim, deputy head of the licensing department, said in a telephone interview in Baghdad today. The ministry will sign oil-exploration accords on Nov. 7 with Lukoil and Inpex for Block 10 in southern Iraq, and on Nov. 8 with Bashneft and Premier Oil for Block 12, he said.

The government awarded blocks 8, 9 and 10 when it offered 12 areas to bidders in an energy auction in May. It agreed in June to sell rights to Block 12 to Bashneft. The nation holds the world’s fifth-largest crude reserves, according to annual statistical data compiled by BP Plc (BP/) that include Canadian oil sands. The country also has the Middle East’s fifth-biggest deposits of natural gas.

Iraq still hasn’t officially approved an agreement with Kuwait Energy Co., Dragon Oil Plc (DGO) and Turkiye Petrolleri AO, which together won a license to explore for oil in Block 9 along the Iranian border, Abdel Kadhim said. He declined to give more details.

The Block 9 approval has been delayed until the ministry“completes procedures related to it,” Ali Al-Dabbagh, the official government spokesman, said on Sept. 25.