Iraq Considering BP for Work on Kirkuk Oil Field

From US News

By Adam Schreck

Iraq is considering a proposal for British oil giant BP PLC to begin work on a major oil field that lies in territory contested by Baghdad and the country’s Kurdish minority, officials said Thursday.

If the project moves ahead, it could help reverse years of production declines at the Kirkuk oil field and strengthen BP’s relationship with Iraq as the OPEC nation works to sharply boost crude output in the years ahead.

The head of the Oil Ministry’s petroleum contracts and licensing division, Abdul-Mahdi al-Ameedi, said a proposal submitted by London-based BP has been sent to the Cabinet for consideration.

He declined to discuss the terms of the project, and stressed that formal negotiations have yet to begin.

“If the Cabinet approves … to initiate discussions, we’ll proceed with this with BP,” he said in a telephone interview.

BP spokesman Toby Odone confirmed that the company had submitted a proposal for work in Kirkuk. He declined to give details, including the scale of any potential investment.

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