27 May 2007 - 10:16
  • News Code: 105629

Mumbai: Indian companies exploring in oil fields awarded by the erstwhile Saddam Hussein regime will have to clear the new law that the oil-rich nation plans to pass in two months, Iraqi oil minister Hussein al-Shahristani said.

Iraq holds the world"s second largest oil reserve after Saudi Arabia.


"We do want Indian entities to explore in our country. Iraqi government is, however, passing a new law and all contracts or oil field awarded previously will have to be vetted under the new law," Hussein al-Shahristani told reporters after meeting prime minister Manmohan Singh.


India is keen on starting work on onshore Block 8, that was awarded to ONGC Videsh Ltd, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), by the deposed Saddam Hussein regime.


It also wants the US-back government in Iraq to honour award of Tuba oilfield to a consortium of OVL, Reliance Industries and Sonatrach of Algeria.


The consortium was short-listed by the Saddam Hussein regime before the US invasion of Iraq.


The Iraqi minister said the law has been passed by the cabinet and it would now go to parliament for approval, which would take a couple of months.


Iraq, he said, is keen on Indian companies building new refineries  and revamping old ones. Baghdad has invited Indian companies to build two refineries in Kirkuk and Missan each with a capacity of 100,000 barrels per day.




News Code 105629

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