Oil ministry spokesman, Asim Jihad said the new date for the bidding will be announced soon. It could be in the next few months.

The previous bidding round has awarded only one field to a consortium led by BP Plc. Iraq planned to increase production by around 2.4 million barrels per day through the bidding round.

The auction showed a deep gap between what the Iraqi government was willing to pay and what foreign companies projected to earn for developing the fields.

Jihad said another bidding round may be announced for the un-awarded oilfield, or they could be added to the second round and may be even be developed by National Oil Company if the company is revived.

The fields offered in the second round have not yet been developed. Jihad said that the government is planning to develop two major gas fields, Akkas and Mansuriyah, on its own as the fields were not awarded to any foreign bidder in the earlier auction.

Akkas and Mansuriyah will be developed by the National Oil Company after approval of the new oil law, Jihad said.