The Iraqi government has ratified a US$15 billion deal between China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and BP for development rights to the Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq, BBC news reported. BP will hold a 38% stake in the venture, compared to CNPC’s 37% share, while the Iraqi government will hold the remaining 25%. The companies hope to triple output at the 17 billion barrel field. More than 30 companies bid for the contract, but few would agree to the government’s demanded price of US$2 per barrel. Exxon Mobil dropped out of the bidding after refusing to reduce their price from US$4 per barrel.