TotalEnergies’ chief executive Patrick Pouyanne and the oil minister of Iraq, Hayan Abdel Ghan, have formally signed a massive deal to improve the energy infrastructure in Iraq.
Iraq is the second-largest producer of crude oil in OPEC, with proven oil reserves of some 145 billion barrels and substantial natural gas reserves that remain to be developed. Nevertheless, international oil and lubricant companies like BP and Exxon Mobil have been scaling back operations there in favour of alternative locations like Guyana. The Iraqi Government hopes that the deal with TotalEnergies will reignite interest in investing in the country.
Despite having its own natural gas reserves, Iraq imports substantial volumes of natural gas from Iran to meet its power generation needs. TotalEnergies, which also makes the Total coolant range, has plans to collect natural gas from five oilfields, so it can be used for power generation instead of flaring it. In addition, a new 1 GW solar plant will also be built to supply electricity to the Basra region.
Pouyanne said about the timeline for developing the projects:
“It depends on the projects. I believe that the first part of the solar plant will come within two years, after that we will work to do a first part of the oil part, which should increase production to 120,000 barrels per day within two years as well.”
He added that the initial 10 billion dollars of investment would be spent over four years, pointing out that this massive project was actually four different projects.