Iraq’s Oil Ministry has launched its fourth state company, Midland Oil, for overseeing development in recently auctioned fields.

Iraq Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad was quoted by AFP as saying the company will be responsible for developing the oilfields in Baghdad and its surrounding provinces.

“We took this decision following the country’s recent decision to grant licences to foreign companies,” Jihad said. “The Middle Oil Company will supervise the new developments.”

The Midland Oil Company will also be responsible for managing oilfields in Anbar, Babil, Diyala, Diwaniyah, Karbala and Wasit provinces, according to AFP citing the ministry.

A previous Midland Oil Company existed under Saddam Hussein’s rule, which was later amalgamated with the North Oil Company in the late 1980s.

Iraq has the world’s third largest oil reserves, with an estimated 115 billion barrels, after Saudi Arabia and Iran.