(Yicai Global) June 5 -- Two Chinese companies have signed initial contracts with Iraq's oil ministry for the exploration and development of three oil and gas blocks in the energy-rich Middle Eastern country, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
Under the contracts, Beijing-based Geo-Jade Petroleum is to prospect the blocks of Naft Khana in the eastern province of Diyala and Huwieza in the southeastern province of Maysan, said Abdul-Mahdi al-Amidi, director general of the Iraqi oil ministry's contracts and petroleum licenses department, while Hong Kong-based United Energy Group will explore the al-Sindibad block in the southern province of Basra.
The initial contracts between the two Chinese companies and the Iraqi oil ministry will be submitted to the Iraqi cabinet for approval before the final agreements are penned, Amidi said in a signing ceremony at the ministry in Baghdad, capital of Iraq, yesterday.
In April, Geo-Jade Petroleum, United Energy Group, and UAE Crescent Petroleum jointly won the bid for the exploration and development of the six oil and gas fields in southern and eastern Iraq. The average output of the six oil and gas fields is expected to reach 500,000 barrels per day, bpd, in the future, said Jabbar Ali al-Allaibi, Iraq's minister of oil.
In an attempt to further increase Iraq's crude oil and gas production, the country's ministry of oil will tender for the development rights of five more oil and gas blocks in the future. Iraq aims to increase its crude oil production to more than 5 million bpd from its current 4.35 million bpd, Xinhua said.
Editor: Mevlut Katik