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Iraq denies $27bn energy deal is stalling

Agreement was signed with Total in September last year

Iraq has denied that the $27bn energy deal that it signed with France’s TotalEnergies is stalling.

In a statement, the country’s oil ministry confirmed “its keenness to implement the contracts under the deal with the international company Total”.

It added: “The ministry is surprised by the inaccurate information in press and media reports, and stresses that the sources should be impartial and professional.”

In its statement, the oil ministry confirmed that the deal consists of four major contracts “that include partial and extensive terms and commitments, which require some time to be completed, and cannot be implemented or done in tight timings”.

The oil ministry said that the $27bn deal still requires consensus on some financing issues and negotiations are ongoing.

It said specialised teams of negotiators were “already holding continuous meetings” to finalise the deal and it expected to achieve “advanced steps in the Artawi field development project and other projects by the beginning of 2023”.

The Artawi field is also known as the Ratawi field.

Deal approval

The latest statement from the oil ministry comes after a report published by the Reuters news agency on 14 February said that the deal had stalled amid disputes over terms and risked being scrapped by the country’s new government.

It said Iraq’s oil ministry did not have agreement on the deal’s financial details with all the government departments that needed to approve it.

Following a parliamentary election, the deal now needs approval from a new Iraqi cabinet, including new oil and finance ministers, who will not be in place until at least the end of March.

Under the draft terms, TotalEnergies is relying on getting $10bn of initial investment to fund the wider project from oil sales from the Ratawi oil field, one of four projects in the broader agreement, according to the Reuters report.



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