Iraq signs gas contract with Pakistan Petroleum
BAGHDAD, July 15 |
BAGHDAD, July 15 (Reuters) - Iraq signed an initial gas exploration contract with Pakistan Petroleum on Sunday as part of its push to attract more foreign investment to develop its energy sector following years of war and sanctions.
The contract gives the Pakistani company the right to explore gas block 8 in Diyala and Wasit provinces in eastern Iraq, as reported by Reuters last month.
Iraq will also sign an initial contract with a consortium led by Kuwait Energy for oil block 9 on July 16 and a deal to explore oil block 10 will be signed with a group led by Russia's Lukoil on July 17.
The OPEC member state is expected to be the world's biggest source of new oil supplies over the next few years. It plans to open up more rounds for oil and gas blocks for auction.
Pakistan Petroleum, Kuwait Energy and Lukoil won their bids in May at Iraq's fourth energy auction, which had a poor showing because of tough contract terms drawn up by Baghdad.
Iraq has offered foreign companies less attractive service agreements - where they are paid a fee - rather than production-sharing deals that allow them to profit jointly from the output.
The country is slowly rebuilding nine years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein. Officials say it needs foreign investment in virtually every sector to improve its infrastructure. (Reporting by Aseel Kami, Writing by Sylvia Westall; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)
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