ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq's Oil Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had extended the deadline for foreign companies and investors to bid for a major oil project in the southern province of Wasit.
The contract being offered is for the construction of an oil refinery capable of producing 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of refined oil, according to the ministry’s statement.
Companies and investors interested in bidding have until Oct. 4 to make offers, the statement added. The reason for the extension of the original deadline, in June, was not specified.
The refinery, which is to be located south of Baghdad in the city of Kut, is the largest oil processing project currently being offered by the ministry. Two others are for facilities in the provinces of Anbar and Diyala, both with a 70,000 bpd capacity.
The projects are part of the Iraqi federal government's long-term plan to become a nation self-sufficient in fulfilling its own petroleum needs.
"The investor is covered by tax exemptions," read the statement but did not clarify the extent of any exemptions available. It also stated that it was allowing for two different potential investment models.
Iraq is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) second-largest producer, trailing behind only Saudi Arabia, with Baghdad-controlled oil fields producing nearly 4.36 million bpd.
In late June, members of OPEC and Russia, along with other oil producers, agreed to a modest increase in oil production starting from July, despite Iraq's public disagreement with the policy during the talks.
“Any price increase above current levels could lead to a collapse in oil prices,” Abadi had previously said, but after the vote had been taken, he announced that his country would cooperate with OPEC members and states outside of the organization to maintain the stability of oil prices and prevent sharp increases.
Editing by John J. Catherine