BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government said it has canceled six oil contracts with foreign companies that were awarded in June in a no-bid arrangement.
One-year contracts with Shell, Chevron, Total, BP, Exxon Mobile and others, meant to increase Iraqi oil production by a 500,000 barrels a day, were canceled after Democratic U.S. senators complained the deals could interfere with Iraqi efforts to pass an energy policy law and reach a revenue-sharing agreement among Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, The New York Times reported Thursday.
To go ahead with the no-bid contracts "would be bad for Iraq and bad for Iraqi-American relations," U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., told the Times.
The contracts were viewed as relatively small by oil-industry standards but they were seen as steps toward future contracts.
In announcing the cancellations at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Vienna, Austria, Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani also said Iraq had lowered its goal of producing 2.9 million barrels a day by the end of the year by 200,000 barrels, the Times reported.