Due to a rival bidder dropping out of a televised auction in a disagreement with the country’s oil ministry over fees a BP-led consortium has won the rights to develop Iraq’s biggest-producing oilfield. The British company’s victory came after the oil ministry balked at the fees for extracting the oil that were proposed by both BP’s consortium and a rival, led by Exxon-Mobil. Both parties were told to revise their proposals, but Exxon-Mobil dropped away shortly afterwards. A total of 32 companies are involved in the auction process, which covers several other fields, including BHP Billiton, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell. Iraq is auctioning off contracts covering a total of 43 billion barrels of crude hidden in some of the world’s largest undeveloped fields.