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Iraq in final stages of talks on $27bn TotalEnergies deal

Person, Human, Pipeline Reuters/Pascal Rossignol
The consortium drilling in Block 9 includes the Italian energy group Eni and the state-owned QatarEnergy

Talks between French oil major TotalEnergies and Iraq to resolve sticking points in a long-delayed $27 billion energy deal “have reached advanced stages”, Iraqi oil minister Hayan Abdel Ghani said.

“We will activate the deal very soon,” Abdel Ghani said at an energy event.

The proposed deal, which Baghdad hopes will revive foreign investment in the country, was signed in 2021 for TotalEnergies to build four oil, gas and renewables projects with an initial investment of $10 billion in southern Iraq over 25 years.

However, disputes between Iraqi politicians over the terms of the deal have stalled progress.

Iraq’s demand for a 40 percent share in the project is a key sticking point while TotalEnergies wants a majority stake, sources told Reuters.

Asked if the issue of Iraq’s share in the project was resolved, Abdel Ghani said: “It’s not the time to discuss the shares and we will announce them when an agreement is reached.”

Abdel Ghani also said that Iraq is committed to maintaining its 220,000 barrel per day (bpd) oil output cut in line with its quota under the latest Opec+ agreement.

The country is also ready to increase production if required to do so by producer group Opec+.

“We obliged some oil companies operating in the south to cut production to come in line with Opec+’s agreed rates,” he added.