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During an auction of Iraq’s best undeveloped oil fields that concluded Saturday, Baghdad awarded international companies development rights to seven fields that within a few years could nearly double the country’s oil production.

The auction’s biggest winners appeared to be Petronas, a state-owned Malaysian company that was part of three separate consortiums that won the rights to three fields; Sonangol, an Angolan company that will develop two fields; and Lukoil, the Russian oil company, which won the rights to part of the West Qurna field in southern Iraq, the most sought prize of the auction.

Hussain al-Shahristani, Iraq’s oil minister said the deals reached at the auction, combined with other recent oil field development deals, put the country on track to increase its oil output from its current level of 2.5 million barrels a day to 12 million barrels a day by 2016, which would surpass Saudi Arabia’s current production.

None of the US companies that participated in the auction won any contracts . Source: NYT

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