Iraq's fourth oil and gas licensing round: What should investors expect?

How Iraq fares in estimated world oil reserves (in billions of barrels)
How Iraq fares in estimated world oil reserves (in billions of barrels)

Investors and energy companies will this month learn the terms of new oil and gas contracts to be issued by the Iraqi government. And for the first time, the licences finally granted will concentrate on exploration. But will investors show the same enthusiasm as they did over previous licensing rounds when the focus was on development and production – or are they more sober now given the various challenges they have faced since entering Iraq?

THE Iraq Government has announced that the country’s oil exports reached 2.317 million barrels per day in April 2012 – the highest since 1980. This should have been seen as a blessing to the cash-strapped country keen to welcome investors.

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