Iraq Discussing $7 Billion Energy Deal With Total, Minister Says

Iraq is discussing a “giant” agreement with French oil giant Total SE to build large infrastructure installations, develop oil fields and produce gas, Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told Asharq News in an interview that aired on Saturday.

The minister said he expected the contract to be finalized before July. The relationship with Total will be based on targeting low-carbon industry and capturing all flaring gas, and is set to produce 1GW of solar energy in the first stage. A specialized team from the oil ministry is leading these discussions with Total.

“The agreement is giant, and the volume of the investment exceeds $7 billion,” the minister said.

Abdul Jabbar said conditions, including the political and administrative decisions for the economic model that protects the rights of both parties, had been hammered out already.

In January, Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne on capturing natural gas, clean energy and infrastructure. Talks between Iraq and Total were first reported in October.

Iraq this year is also expected to ink a deal to build an oil export pipeline from the southern province of Basra to Jordan’s Aqba port on the Red Sea. A framework agreement may be signed before mid-April, Abdul Jabbar said.

The minister said Iraq will lower its gasoline and gasoil imports by 50% in 2021 and by 90% in 2022. Iraq will need a very limited volume of gasoil imports to support power generation, he said.

Iraq’s current gas output stands at 1.5b scf/d and will reach 4b scf/d in 2025. The country in 2010 built gas-fired turbines to generate 20GW, and those plants need 5b scf/d of gas.

Iraq now buys gas from Iran and is trying to diversify imports from Qatar, Kazakhstan and other producers, Abdul Jabbar said.

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