Iraq is destined to move up into the premier league of global oil producers after auctioning the rights to develop one of the world’s biggest untapped oil fields.
Shell, the UK and Dutch oil giant, along with Malaysia’s Petronas, won the deal for the Majnoon field on the first day of Iraq’s latest oil contract auction. French oil company Total teamed up with China’s CNPC and Petronas to clinch a deal for the smaller Halfaya oilfield. But there were no sucessful bids for more dangerously placed oil deposits including East Baghdad, which lies beneath the Sadr city slum. The world’s biggest energy companies also steered clear of northern areas where Arabs and Kurds remain at odds.