French energy group Total Energy has signed a contract with Iraq worth 27 billion dollars to exploit oil and natural gas fields and a water project that, according to the authorities, will be key for the oil-rich country to maintain its crude production.
The agreements were signed, on Sunday, in the presence of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, according to a statement by the Oil Ministry.
Total signed contracts with the Ministry to develop the Ratawi oil field in southern Iraq. a gas processing center to capture natural gas from five southern oil fields; and a much-needed project to treat seawater from the Persian Gulf and inject it into reservoirs to maintain oil production levels.
A fourth project was signed with the Ministry of Electricity to build a 1,000 megawatt solar power plant.
It is the most lucrative and ambitious deal any oil company has signed in Iraq in years, and it comes as other international oil companies have taken steps to exit the Iraqi oil sector.
There was no immediate statement from Total.
Iraq urgently needs to develop domestic gas resources to meet the demand for electricity, especially in the peak summer months.
The country is highly dependent on Iranian gas and electricity imports, which have been erratic in recent months due to outstanding payments and high demand within Iran.
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