Iraq signs final deal with South Korea's KOGAS for gas field
BAGHDAD - Iraq on Thursday signed a contract with South Korea's KOGAS to develop a gas field in western Anbar province, finally inking a deal that had been repeatedly delayed since it was awarded nearly a year ago.
The contract for the Akkaz field was signed by Deputy Oil Minister Ahmed al-Shamma and KOGAS CEO Choo Kangsoo at the oil ministry in Baghdad.
The contract is for a 20-year period, Shamaa said, and peak production of 400 million cubic feet per day should be reached within six years.
KOGAS will receive $5.50 per barrel, he added.
Akkaz, with estimated gas reserves of 5.6 trillion cubic feet, was discovered in 1992 in Iraq's northwestern region, near the border with Syria, in the western province of Anbar.
The Iraqi government originally awarded the development project in November to a joint bid from Kazakhstan's KazMunaiGas and the Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS), but the former pulled out in May.
Baghdad then asked KOGAS to develop the field on its own, with an initial contract being inked in June.
Since November, the official signing of the contract has been delayed over disputes between federal and local authorities.
Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi said in February that Anbar provincial officials wanted the two companies to be contractually obliged to build housing and improve public services in exchange for the right to develop the gas field.
Oil sales account for the lion's share of government income in Iraq, with the country exporting around 2.2 million bpd. But Iraq is seeking to boost its gas production as well.