UPDATE 2-Iraq shortlists seven firms for Nasiriya oilfield project

Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:20am EDT

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DUBAI, March 12 (Reuters) - Iraq has selected seven
international oil companies (IOCs), including Total,
to bid to develop its Nasiriya oilfield and refinery, the oil
ministry said on Tuesday.
    French oil major Total was invited to bid despite
angering Baghdad by taking stakes in Iraq's Kurdistan region
last year, as was India's Reliance, which sold its stakes in the
semi-autonomous region last July. 
 
    Baghdad says any deals signed with Kurdistan are illegal,
but the government of Kurdistan says the constitution allows it
to sign oil contracts without permission from the central
government.
    Seven other companies that took part in the prequalification
will not be invited to bid for the project to tap the giant
Nasiriya oilfield and build a new 300,000 barrels per day (bpd)
refinery.
    The Ministry of Oil plans to hold a road show to discuss the
contract model from Apr. 8-9 in Amman, Jordan.    
    The southern oilfield, with reserves of more than 4 billion
barrels, has been on the block several times. In 2009, a
Japanese consortium was selected to invest, but negotiations
fell apart.
    After that, the Ministry of Oil said Chevron of the United
States, Italy's Eni and Japan's JX Nippon had expressed
interest. 
    Since then, Chevron has taken stakes in the northern Kurdish
region, prompting Baghdad to bar the company from doing business
in the rest of Iraq.
    After years of war and sanctions, Iraq aims to produce 5-6
million bpd of crude by 2015 against current output of about 3.4
million bpd, the highest in three decades.
    Iraq has three main refineries - Baiji, Daura and Basra --
with a total capacity of around 567,000 bpd, but is looking to
increase its capacity to 750,000 bpd next year through
improvements in existing plants to cut its fuel import bills.
    Each of the following seven companies will receive a letter
of invitation to bid for the project:
    
 No.  Company Name         Nationality  Note
 1    Zarubezhneft         Russian      Up & Downstream
 2    CNPCI                China        Downstream
 3    Brown Energy         American     Downstream
 4    Reliance Industries  Indian       Up & Downstream
 5    Lukoil               Russian      Downstream
 6    Total                French       Downstream
 7    JGC & Tonen General  Japan        Up & Downstream
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