UPDATE 2-Iraq in deal with CNOOC, TPAO for Maysan oilfields

* Eleventh deal to develop Iraq’s vast oil reserves

* Could take Iraq to near Saudi levels of capacity

* Iraq considering inviting firms to develop Furat oilfields

(Adds Oil Minister comments, details)

By Ahmed Rasheed and Rania El Gamal

BAGHDAD, May 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Iraq signed a final deal on
Monday with China’s CNOOC and state-run Turkish Petroleum
Corporation (TPAO) to develop the Maysan oilfield complex, the
1lth in a series of deals that could vault Iraq into the top
ranks of global producers.

Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani also said Iraq was
considering inviting foreign firms to develop its three Middle
Furat oilfields.

The deal for the 2.5-billion-barrel Maysan complex would
require billions of dollars in investment, Shahristani said.

Ten other deals have been signed since last year with
international oil companies to develop the war-damaged country’s
vast oil reserves.

If all the agreements work out, Iraq, which has the world’s
third-largest oil reserves, could have crude production capacity
of 12 million barrels per day, close to top producer Saudi
Arabia, in six to seven years.

The Middle Furat oilfields, estimated to have reserves of
600 million barrels, were offered at auction last December in
Iraq’s second round of oilfield tenders but no bids were
received.

“If we find enough companies willing to compete we will
invite the companies,” Shahristani said. “We are now contacting
the companies to see if they are willing to develop the fields.”

China’s Sinochem was originally partnered with CNOOC in an
unsuccessful bid for the three Maysan fields in Iraq’s first
auction of oilfield contracts last year.

But it pulled out when CNOOC decided to reconsider and
accept the government’s proposed remuneration fee of $2.30 for
every additional barrel of oil produced, and TPAO stepped in.

CNOOC and TPAO set a plateau target for the oilfields at
450,000 barrels per day (bpd) after six years.

CNOOC said it will hold a 63.75 percent stake in the venture
while TPAO holds 11.25 percent. An Iraqi state oil company will
hold a 25 percent stake.
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(Writing by Michael Christie; Editing by Anthony Barker and Sue
Thomas)

UPDATE 2-Iraq in deal with CNOOC, TPAO for Maysan oilfields