Iraq invites Russian bids to boost production capacity

Sep 26, 2001 02:00 AM

Iraq is inviting bids from Russian oil companies for projects aimed at boosting production capacity. "There are plans to develop Iraq's oil deposits and increase production over the coming 20 years, and that's why the Russian firms were invited to make offers," Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammad Rashid was quoted as saying.
The invitation was given during a meeting between Rashid and a delegation of around 60 Russian journalists, led by Yuri Chafranik, head of a Russian association for cooperation with Iraq. Rashid said oil trade between Iraq and Russia had reached $ 6 bn since the UN oil-for-food programme was introduced in 1996.
"Economic and trade relations between Iraq and Russia are strategic despite the continuing embargo and US-British strikes," Rashid said. According to Chafranik, Russian oil companies are expecting to sign contracts worth billions of dollars with Iraq over the coming months, particularly for the development of oil reserves.

Contracts will be signed with both oil groups who already have a presence in Iraq as well companies who are new to the country, he said. In early July, Russia blocked a US-British proposal to impose UN "smart" sanctions against Iraq, to which Baghdad was vehemently opposed.
In response, Iraq said it would give priority to Moscow in awarding oil contracts, allowed under the oil-for-food programme. With reserves estimated at 112 bn barrels, Iraq -- which is an OPEC member but not included in the cartel's output quota system -- ranks second in the world behind Saudi Arabia, which has reserves of 261 bn barrels.

Source: AFP via Energy24
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