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JAPEX, Malaysian Partner Win Southern Iraq Oil Field Deal (Nikkei.com)

Saturday, December 12, 2009
JAPEX, Malaysian Partner Win Southern Iraq Oil Field Deal

CAIRO(Kyodo)-- A consortium formed by Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., known as JAPEX, and Malaysia's state-run Petronas Carigali won a contract on Saturday to develop the Gharaf oil field in southern Iraq in a significant step in toward energy security for Japan.

The consortium was awarded the contract at an international auction held in Baghdad, following the first such bidding in June. It is the first time a Japanese firm has won the bid.

Garnering the Iraq oil field deal, industry analysts say, will give Japan greater energy security as it has lagged behind China in this area. In recent years China has been actively pursuing a policy to secure energy resources.

The Gharaf oil field has confirmed reserves of about 860 million barrels.

Iraq, which has the third-largest reserves in oil, opened the development of oil fields to foreign investment for the first time in 40 years through an inaugural bidding round in June.

In other deals clinched at the second bidding which began Friday, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Petronas Carigali won a contract to develop the Majnoon oil field, also situated in southern Iraq.

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