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Iraq to launch new bid for Mansuriya gas field; scraps contract with TPAO-led group

Highlights

Masuriya contains 4.5 Tcf, oil minister says

Consortium includes Kuwait Energy and South Korea's Kogas

Field was attacked by Islamic State during 2014-2017 war

Dubai — Iraq plans to launch a new licensing bid round for Mansuriya gas field after cancelling a contract with a group of companies led by Turkey's state-owned TPAO, the country's oil minister told state-owned Iraqi News Agency Oct. 15.

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The ministry has invited international companies to participate in the new licensing round and present their best offers to develop the field, which contains 4.5 Tcf of gas, Ihsan Ismaael told the agency.

Iraq's oil ministry plans to deploy a state upstream company to develop the Mansuriya field, though the move could be complicated by an inability to reach agreement with the consortium led by TPAO that currently holds the rights to the field, former oil minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said in Sept. 2018.

The Midland Oil Company will begin work to develop the field, Luaibi said at the time, after years of hold-ups due to security problems and delays in a deal with the consortium that won the contract in the third bidding round back in 2010.

TPAO holds 37.5%, Kuwait Energy 22.5% and South Korea's Kogas 15%, with the Iraqi state's 25% held by Midland Oil Company.

Under the initial development plan, commercial production was to begin in 2015 and reach 80 MMcf/d that year, but that was upended by the June 2014 invasion of the militant group Islamic State.

Mansuriya is located in Diyala province, northwest of Baghdad, near the border with Iran. Insurgents never took over the field but held nearby territory from which they conducted attacks on it. The consortium declared force majeure but had been negotiating terms for its return, as security improved and the Islamic State was routed from nearly all the territory it held by mid-2017.