Iraq's Oil Ministry says it will put three undeveloped natural gas fields up for bid for long-term development this year.
Sabah al-Saidi, the deputy head of the ministry's Licensing and Petroleum Contracts department, said Thursday that international companies with experience in gas projects will be invited for the bidding round.
He wouldn't identify them and the bid date has not yet been set.
Iraq awarded 10 oil deals to Western companies in two bidding rounds last year.
Two of the natural gas fields, western Akkas and eastern Mansouriyah, were offered in the first bidding round in 2009. Akkas received one bid but was not awarded and Mansouriyah received no bids.
The third field is the southern Siba.