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Tue 7 Oct 2008 12:19 AM

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Iraq plans second bidding for oil contracts in Dec

Minister lays out procedure for long-term deals before meeting firms in London.

Iraq will accept offers for a first bidding round for long-term contracts for six oilfields and two gas fields in March 2009, its oil minister said on Monday.

Hussain Al-Shahristani said in an interview that Iraq was also planning to announce a second bidding round for long-term oil contracts in December 2008. The first bidding round was announced in June this year.

"We are working on announcing the second round of bidding in the last month of the year - December," he said.

"So far we did not announce which oilfields will be included, but in December when we announce the bidding we will announce the fields as well."

"The list is not finalised, there is still a field or two that we have not decided on and we are still discussing. It's all going to be explored fields and giant fields."

Al-Shahristani will meet in London on Oct. 13 with 35 oil companies qualified to participate in the first bidding round, which covers the Rumaila, Kirkuk, Zubair, West Qurna Phase 1, Bai Hassan and Maysan oilfields, and the Akkas and Mansuriya gas fields.

He said the criteria for bidding would be based on the cost of halting output decline, boosting output and maintaining long-term output.

He said he would present the companies with model contracts to help them prepare their offers.

"It's important for the companies to know how the contract is going to be so that they can prepare their offers based on the conditions in the contract... Then we are going to give them until March 2009 to present their offers," he said.

"We will notify them of the biddable parameters which the companies are going to offer - what exactly they are going to compete for. For example: what figure they will offer to win the contracts in dollars per barrels of production.

"We are going to have a baseline production [parameter]... the increased production above the baseline production will be another biddable parameter... and the quantity produced during the time of the contract."

He said the model contract would also include other conditions like taxes and the governing law, which will be Iraqi law.

He also expected crude exports to recover in October to 1.9-2.0 million barrels per day from 1.6-1.7 million bpd in September. (Reuters)

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