Iraq's Council of Ministers has approved the recommendation of the Economic Energy Council to sign contracts for the fifth energy licensing round.
According to a government statement, the fifth-round projects had been suspended for four years due to "a complaint about the correctness of the procedures."
It adds that, "after this file went to financial control and integrity, it was finally found that the procedures are sound and the issue was resolved." It says one of the companies operating in the project can provide a quarter of the amount of imported gas within 15 months, and the government's goal is to cover all the currently-imported gas within 3 years.
Imported gas costs up to 10 trillion dinars annually in the budget. After three years, the project will provide these amounts, and they will be transferred to health, education and housing, within the framework of economic reform," it adds.
In April 2018, Iraq's Ministy of Oil initially awarded the fifth round licences as follows:
Gilabat-Qumar, in Diyala: Crescent Petroleum (UAE)
Khashim Ahmer-Injana, in Diyala: Crescent Petroleum (UAE)
Huwaiza, in Missan (Maysan): Geo Jade Petroleum (China)
Khudher Al-Mai [Khider al-Mai], in Basra and Muthana: Crescent Petroleum (UAE)
Naft Khana, in Diyala: Geo-Jade Petroleum (China)
Sindibad [Sindbad] field in Basra: United Energy Group (UEG) (Hong Kong)
Zurbatiya [Zurbatia], in Wasit and Diyala: not awarded
Shihabi in Missan and Wasit: not awarded
Fao, in Basra: not awarded
Jebel Sanam [Jabal Sanam], in Basra: not awarded
Offshore Gulf block: not awarded
A sixth licensing round, which will target natural gas fields, will soon be announced.