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Chinese Company Launches $3 Billion Oil Project In Iraq

Wasit Governor Latif al-Tarfa offers a gift to Chinese Ambassador Chen Xiaodong at the oil field's opening
BAGHDAD -- A Chinese firm has kickstarted a $3 billion project to develop a major oil field south of Baghdad, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq (RFI) reports.

Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani told RFI that when completed, the Al-Ahdab oilfield project in Wasit Governorate will produce 115,000 barrels of oil per day under a service contract signed between Iraq and the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC). He added that the contract was initially signed as a production-sharing venture.

Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Chang Yi told RFI that the project will serve as a launch pad for more extensive cooperation between Iraq and China in the oil sector.

Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told RFI that Iraq last year held tenders to develop six major oil fields in northern, central, and southern Iraq.

He said that of the 120 companies that responded to the tenders, 25 have been allowed to bid for the announced oil fields.