Iraq ‘OKs Nassiriya oil storage deal’

Iraq has given China Petroleum Pipeline the green light to build an oil storage facility at the giant Nassiriya field, according to a report.

The country’s Cabinet on Tuesday approved the $607 million contract to build the depot in the southern oilfield, Reuters reported.

Nassiriya, with reserves of 4 billion barrels, is to be developed as part of an integrated project that includes a 300,000-barrels-per-day refinery.

Late last month the Iraqi Oil Ministry once again extended a deadline for submission of bids for development of the field.

The tender had suffered two previous delays at the turn of the year. No new date was set by the ministry after this week’s postponement.

The ministry said last year it had selected seven international companies, including France’s Total, to bid to develop Nassiriya and build the associated refinery.

In 2009, a Japanese consortium was selected to invest but talks fell apart.

After that, the Oil Ministry said Chevron of the US, Italy’s Eni and Japan’s JX Nippon had expressed interest.

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