BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s Oil Ministry has selected a company to develop the super giant Nassiriya oilfield and has sent its choice to the cabinet for approval, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said on Thursday.
Italy’s Eni, Japan’s Nippon Oil and Spain’s Repsol were invited to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction contract, but Repsol was no longer considered to be in the running, industry sources have said.
Shahristani declined to identify the selected company to Reuters.
“The oil ministry has recommended to select a company and we sent our recommendation to the cabinet,” Shahristani told Reuters as he waited to make an appearance before parliament.
“Now the prime minister will form a committee to study our selection and approve it. I can’t tell you the recommendation until the cabinet has approved it.”
An Iraqi oil industry source on Wednesday told Reuters Repsol was out of the running and the tussle was down to Nippon Oil and Eni.
The Nassiriya contract was initially scheduled for award in late April or early May, but was delayed as Iraq asked for the bids to be revised and resubmitted.
Iraqi officials have said Nassiriya could pump 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) within 18 months, while Eni executives have said it could eventually pump 1 million bpd.
Eni’s Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said earlier this year he was confident his company would win the contract.
Iraq has said other fields would also be considered for limited-competition EPC contracts, which officials say are a faster way of improving oil field infrastructure than bidding rounds.