Iraq has abandoned the rational approach it temporarily adopted in February regarding this year’s bid round. Abdul Mahdy al-Ameedi, head of the oil ministry’s contracts division said in February that the bid round planned for May would be delayed due to the 12 May parliamentary elections.

But in an abrupt U-turn, Mr Ameedi this week said the deadline is now 15 April.

Adding to the disorganization, the contract terms for the assets are still being finalized and will only be...