Iraqi oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said talks are continuing with Royal Dutch Shell on the Majnoon oil field that the company is said to be seeking to quit.
"There are still negotiations, things are not clear," Luaibi told a news conference in Baghdad. "We haven't initiated talks with other companies."
A letter signed by Luaibi, dated Aug. 23 and seen by source gave approval for Shell to quit Majnoon, a major oilfield near Basra which started production in 2014.
Industry sources told last year that Shell was considering selling out of its oil fields in Iraq as part of its global $30 billion asset disposal programme.