Iraq to Open Oil Fields for Foreign Companies

World | July 1, 2008, Tuesday // 00:00
Iraq to Open Oil Fields for Foreign Companies: Iraq to Open Oil Fields for Foreign Companies Iraq has invited 35 foreign companies to bid on contracts for the further development of six existing oil fields and two gas fields. File photo

Iraq has invited 35 foreign companies to bid on contracts for the further development of six existing oil fields and two gas fields.

The oil ministry hopes that granting multinationals technical contracts can help boost production at the under developed oil fields in Iraq, which holds the world's third largest oil reserves, Al Jazeera reported.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said the government would seek to tap Western technology and capital to increase oil production by about 60 percent, which approximately equals 1.5 million barrels a day.

Among the selected companies, seven are from the US and four each from China and Japan.

The move is expected to cause controversy in a nation wary of Western influence over its largest source of wealth and among critics who say the Bush administration started the war in Iraq in order to gain access to its oil.

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