BAGHDAD, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi cabinet held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss new bids submitted by foreign oil firms to develop the country's oil and gas fields, an official said.
"The ministers are discussing the new proposals made by oil companies," an official from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's office said.
On Tuesday's first bidding process, only one of the bidders for the eight contracts has accepted the oil ministry's terms, which offered far less per barrel of oil produced than the oil firms considered acceptable.
British oil giant BP and China's CNPC consortium agreed to run the 17-billion-barrel Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq.
The auction to run six of Iraq's oil fields and two gas fields for the next 20 years attracted 32 oil companies and consortia who had been approved as potential bidders according to criteria put by the country's oil ministry.
However, Iraq has asked the rest of the companies to reconsider bidding for the other seven service contracts.
The ministry is planning to increase the oil production from 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) to 4.5 million bpd within the five years.
The increase in oil production levels as planned will provide an extra 1.7 trillion U.S. dollars for Iraq over the next 20 years.
Iraq's oil reserve is reportedly to be the world's third largest, which needs billions of dollars of investment to overhaul its oil infrastructure and increase oil and gas output after 13 years of sanctions and war.