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Iraq’s government held a public auction Friday during which it sold development rights to two of its largest untapped oil fields to fund the growing costs of security and reconstruction.

A partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas, a state-owned Malaysian company, won the largest field put out for bid, Majnoon, in southern Iraq, which contains an estimated 12.6 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

The second field, Halfiya, also in southern Iraq, was won by a consortium led by China National Petroleum Company that included Petronas and Total of France. The field is believed to have about 4.1 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Many have accused the US of invading Iraq for its oil , but no US oil company was awarded any contract today . Source: NYT

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