Iraq row over 4th energy bid round
Baghdad, May 16, 2011
Iraq's 4th energy bidding round, scheduled for January, must be delayed until a new hydrocarbons law is passed, the head of the Iraqi parliament's oil and gas committee said on Monday.
Any contracts signed as a result of the auction would be illegal, committee chief Adnan Al-Janabi told Reuters.
Al-Janabi said his committee had asked the oil ministry to postpone the auction but the ministry had refused.
He said his committee would ask parliament to forbid "the carrying out of new bid rounds or the signing of any new contracts until the necessary petroleum legislation is passed."
"If the Oil Ministry proceeds with its plans, it will not be acting legally, and any signing parties will do so at their peril," he said.
The oil ministry's media office said it was holding the auction in compliance with "valid Iraqi laws."
The bidding round for 12 new exploration blocs is scheduled for January 25-26. It is expected to add 29 trillion cubic feet of gas and 10 billion barrels of oil to Iraqi reserves. - Reuters