In a recent three-day bidding process for the exploration of oil and gas fields in Iraq, Chinese companies emerged as big winners, securing contracts to explore five important fields.

This event, which took place last Saturday, included for the first time an offshore area in the waters of Arabian Gulf from the country.

The licensing round, which attracted more than 20 participantsincluding European groups, Chinese, arabs e Iraqisfocused on expanding gas production to meet domestic demand.

Among the winners, the Zhongman Oil and Natural Gas Group (ZPEC) and the United Energy Group Ltdboth from China, stood out, capturing strategic areas.

The Iraqi oil ministry announced that ZPEC has acquired rights to the northern extension of the East Baghdad and on the field of Middle Euphratescovering the provinces of Najaf e Karbala. In addition, United Energy Group Ltd will develop the Al-Fawlocated in the south of Basra.

Other important concessions went to ZhenHua, which will develop the Qurnain field on the border between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and to Geo-Jadewho will work in the field of Zurbatiyalocated in the province of Referee.

In addition to the Chinese companies, an Iraqi Kurdish company, the Grupo KARalso stood out, winning contracts for two fields: housein Maysan, e Sasan & Alanin Nineveh.

The licensing round is part of Iraq’s larger strategy to attract billion-dollar investments and develop its oil and gas sector. The aim is to increase local petrochemical production and reduce dependence on gas imports from Iran, which are vital to the country’s energy production.

This initiative takes place in a context where Western oil giants, such as Exxon Mobil Corp it’s at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, have withdrawn from projects in Iraq, while Chinese companies have expanded their presence. This reflects a significant change in the dynamics of foreign investment in the Iraqi hydrocarbon industry.

With the close of this round, approximately 20 projects are still open for bidding, promising further developments in the country’s energy sector in the coming days.

With information from Reuters


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