It has been reported via news agencies that UAE based Crescent Petroleum secured three exploration blocks in Iraq’s oil and gas exploration and development contract auction held at the end of last week, while China's Geo-Jade won two.
Another Chinese firm United Energy Group won one contract but a total of five blocks received no bids, according to Reuters.
Iraq had offered 11 new blocks for exploration close to the border with Iran and Kuwait and also in offshore Gulf waters.
None of the global supermajors won any blocks and indeed the vast majority did not make bids, apart from Italy’s Eni which put forward two offers but was unsuccessful with both.
Crescent has gained control of the Khashim Ahmer-Injana exploration block in Diayala province close to the Iran border and was the only bidder for the contract. It has also secured the Gilabat-Qumar exploration block, again in Diayala province. Its third block hasn’t as yet been identified.
An Iraqi Oil Ministry official suggested the reason five blocks went unclaimed was due to the fact they were situated on former battlegrounds, were largely inaccessible while an offshore block lacks sufficient research and data.