Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil company, and Eni SpA, Italy's largest oil company, are among the oil companies interested in Iraq's Nassiriya oil field in the southern part of the OPEC country. An Iraqi oil official said three companies have shown an interest in developing Nassiriya.
In addition to California-based Chevron (CVX) and Eni (E), Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. is also said to be interested in developing the field, which may hold up to 4.4 billion barrels of reserves, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In August 2009, the Iraqi government agreed in principle to let a Japanese consortium led by Nippon Oil Corp., now JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., develop Nassiriya, the Journal reported. Those talks halted and Iraq's oil ministry said it would develop the field on its own.
Iraq is requiring any company that is awarded rights to develop Nassiriya to build a refinery near the field with capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, the Journal reported. Current production at the field is 10,000 barrels per day.