BAGHDAD: Iraq has delayed for the second time an international tender for the development of its Nasiriya oil field and the construction of a new refinery to June 19, the oil ministry said on Tuesday.
The bidding auction had first been scheduled for December and was then delayed to Jan. 23.
"We have decided to push back the bidding process in order to make some necessary changes to the model contract and also to give companies more time to consider the new amended contract," oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said.
The project involves developing Nasiriya oilfield, which holds reserves of more than 4 billion barrels, and building a 300,000 barrel-per-day refinery.
Previous agreements have stalled. In 2009, a Japanese consortium was selected, but negotiations fell apart.
The project is part of plans to expand Iraq's downstream operations.
In March, seven companies were selected to submit bids and another five companies were shortlisted in August.
Iraq has three main refineries - Baiji, Doura and Basra - now with a total capacity of 750,000 bpd.
The OPEC member last week awarded a $6.04 billion oil refinery contract to a South Korean consortium led by Hyundai Engineering & Construction to build Kerbala Refinery with a capacity of 140,000 bpd. (Reuters)