By Khalid Al-Ansary and Zainab Fattah
Total SE is considering natural-gas investments in Iraq, according to the Middle Eastern nation’s government.
The two sides held talks this week about projects in western Iraq and near the southern energy hub of Basra, the Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement. They hope to reach an agreement soon, the statement said, citing Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar. Jabbar met Total officials this week in Paris. He was with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s delegation to the U.K., France and Germany, which was partly aimed at attracting European investment.
Iraq’s economy, which derives almost all income from oil, is under severe strain due to this year’s coronavirus-induced collapse in crude prices. The government is pushing to develop its vast gas reserves to diversify from oil.
Paris-based Total, one of the world’s biggest energy companies, has operated in Iraq for almost a century, having been part of the consortium that discovered the giant Kirkuk Field in the late 1920s. Today, it holds stakes in the southern Halfaya oil deposit and the northern Sarsang exploration block in Kurdistan.
Source: Bloomberg, October 24, 2020.