Iraq offers onshore acreage for gas exploration with 11 blocks up for grabs

Iraq has invited companies to bid for fresh onshore acreage for gas exploration and exploitation, according to media reports.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdul-Ghani invited international energy companies to bid for contracts to explore and develop natural gas in 11 blocks in Iraq.

Of the 11 blocks, eight are located in Anbar Province in western Iraq, one in the northern province of Nineveh, one in an area between the provinces of Anbar and Najaf, and one between Anbar and Nineveh, Abdul-Ghani said in a statement issued by the Oil Ministry, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Iraq on Sunday launched its sixth licensing round for gas exploration in several provinces, the ministry said in a video announcement, reported Reuters.

Iraq back in 2009 opened up its oil and gas sector to foreign investment.

Reserves boost

Abdul-Ghani last month said Iraq’s oil reserves had increased by 10 billion barrels and its natural gas reserves by 8 trillion cubic feet following a 3D seismic survey near Basra, a key oil hub located about 550 kilometres south of the nation’s capital city Baghdad, reported the Bernama news agency.

This would increase the proven reserves of Iraq’s crude oil to about 155 billion barrels and natural gas to some 140 Tcf, although the Opec cartel, of which Iraq is a member, has not officially adopted the revised reserves figures.