A senior Iraqi oil official says the government will award a contract to develop a prized oil field in southern Iraq next month.
Italy's Eni SpA, Spain's Repsol and Japan's Nippon Oil are competing for a service contract to develop the Nasiriyah oil field. Ahmed al-Shamaa, Iraq's deputy oil minister, says the government will finish studying the technical offers this month and award the contract in March.
Al-Shamaa spoke to The Associated Press by phone on Wednesday. The field lies in the oil-rich Dhi Qar province, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad. It has reserves of about 4.4 billion barrels with a potential of producing at least 300,000 barrels a day.