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MarketWatch: BP, Shell executives to meet Iraq oil minister on OPEC sidelines

By Selina Williams
Last update: 6:23 a.m. EST Dec. 5, 2007

ABU DHABI (MarketWatch) — Iraq’s oil minister, Hussein al-Shahristani, is Wednesday to meet senior executives from oil majors BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC after a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The executives confirmed a meeting would take place following OPEC’s policy meeting Wednesday, but they didn’t disclose the nature of the talks.

In early November, al-Shahristani said Iraq was close to hiring five major oil companies to help increase oil output by 500,000 barrels a day by the end of 2009 through technical service agreements.

The minister declined to name the companies involved in the talks although people close to the matter have said Shell was being considered.

The contracts are to help increase output in six oil fields: Rumeila South, Rumeila North, Zubair, Subba/Luhais and Missan in southern Iraq and Kirkuk, al-Shahristani said in November.

Iraq is currently producing around 2.2 million barrels a day, mostly from these oil fields.
Earlier this year, a senior Iraqi oil official said Shell had submitted a plan to the Iraqi oil ministry to redevelop Missan in southern Iraq.

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