BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: A consortium led by Russia's Lukoil and including Japan's Inpex signed a preliminary contract with Iraq's Oil Ministry yesterday to explore for oil, a spokesman said.
The deal is the third to be signed by the Oil Ministry in as many days with foreign firms to explore for oil and gas across the country, with a fourth set to be inked soon, as Iraq looks to ramp up its already-high oil reserves and boost gas production to support its struggling power sector.
The service contract is one of three that the Iraqi Oil Ministry awarded at the auction.
Kuwait Energy, Dubai-based Dragon Oil and Turkiye Petrolleri signed an agreement on Monday to explore for crude in southern Iraq along the Iranian border for a fee of $6.24 a barrel.
Pakistan Petroleum signed an agreement two days ago to search for natural gas in block 8 in eastern Iraq for a fee of $5.38 a barrel.
"The Ministry of Oil signed a preliminary agreement with a consortium made up of the Russian company Lukoil and the Japanese company Inpex Corp,- ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said in a statement.
Lukoil holds 60 per cent of the partnership and Inpex the balance.
The ministry said the contract would be passed on to the cabinet for approval.
In late May, Lukoil and Inpex won a contract for a 5,500 square-kilometre (2,100 square mile) plot covering Muthanna and Thi-Qar provinces in the south, believed to hold oil, with an offer of $5.99 per barrel of oil.