Move to bolster economy of Sunni areas
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  • The Iraqi oil ministry invited local and international oil companies to bid for contracts to develop natural gas fields, especially the Akkas gas field in the former Sunni insurgent stronghold of Anbar province in western Iraq. The ministry has set April 24 as the deadline for the companies to submit plans to develop the field which has estimated reserves of more than 2.15 trillion cubic feet. The move is seen as crucial to bolster the economy of Sunni areas which have not been touched by the oil riches so prevalent in the Kurdish north and the Shia South1.