With the city of Mosul on the verge of being liberated, the Iraqi Government is looking to re-attract foreign investors back to the country’s enormous oil reserves to help realise its ambitious production targets. To achieve this, the Ministry of Oil has recently launched a new round of direct negotiations with a refined focus on 12 small to medium-sized oil fields. The 12 fields on offer are located in safe and stable areas across Basra, Missan and the Central Provinces, with 19 companies already reported to have pre-qualified, including six Japanese firms, the UAE's Dragon Oil, Mubadala Oil, and Crescent Petroleum, Glencore Exploration Ltd, as well as firms from China, Russia, Italy, Kuwait, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Romania. The deadline for submission was originally envisaged as being on 30th November 2016, but the Ministry of Oil has recently issued a statement clarifying that the timetable and the allocation of oilfields are subject to ongoing assessment.
The new tender structure is a significant shift away from the existing service contract arrangements, and offers greater flexibility to tenderers by allowing them to "submit their own proposals for contractual, commercial and financial terms and conditions". Companies that have not been pre-qualified may also participate in the tendering after paying a $15,000 fee and submitting proof of their technical and financial capabilities. A data package costing $50,000 is available for purchase from the Ministry of Oil.