BAGHDAD, Sept 25 (Reuters) - As part of Iraq's drive to
attract investment to develop its energy sector, the cabinet has
approved three oil and gas contracts awarded to foreign firms in
a May auction, the government spokesman said.
Iraq, a member of OPEC, is expected to be the world's
biggest source of new oil supplies over the next few years.
It has signed contracts with international oil companies and
plans to open up more bidding rounds for additional oil and gas
Cabinet approved an initial gas exploration contract with
Pakistan Petroleum for gas block 8 and another deal
with a group led by Lukoil to develop Iraq's oil block
10, spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.
It also approved an initial deal with Russia's Bashneft
to develop Iraq's oil block 12, but decided to delay
approval of a contract signed with a consortium led by Kuwait
Energy for oil block 9.
"Cabinet decided to delay approval of a contract for block 9
until the oil ministry completes some of its procedures,"
Dabbagh said, without giving more details.
Contracts approved by cabinet are ready for final signing
by Iraq's oil ministry.
A handful of international companies won bids in May at
Iraq's fourth energy auction, which had a poor showing because
of tough contract terms drawn up by Baghdad.
The country is slowly rebuilding more than nine years after
a U.S.-led invasion that toppled former President Saddam
Officials say it needs foreign investment in virtually every
sector to improve its infrastructure.
(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; editing by Jason Neely)