- - who owns 'big oil'
An oil consortium led by British Petroleum has won a contract to develop a large oil field in Iraq, as dozens of international firms compete for the rights to the nation's oil and gas reserves.
BP, along with China's CNPC, secured the contract for the Rumaila oil field on Tuesday, the largest of Iraq's six oil fields on offer to foreign and state-owned companies.
The contract race is the first opportunity for global energy giants to gain a hold in the country since the Baath party nationalised the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1972, seven years before former president Saddam Hussein took power.
The Rumaila field is estimated to hold 3.3 trillion cubic feet of oil reserves, but also lies in Diyala province, which has seen some of Iraq's worst violence in recent years.
Three fields were offered by midmorning on Tuesday but only