Iraq and French oil major Total agreed to jointly work on developing four associated gas and solar power projects, the country’s oil ministry said, as OPEC’s second largest producer seeks to reduce dependence on Iranian energy imports needed for power generation.
Iraq, which is second only to Russia in terms of gas flaring, is nearing an agreement with Total to implement dual-energy megaprojects to capture that gas and wean the country away from sanctioned Iranian gas and electricity imports. Solar power will play a major role. Iraq’s oil minister, Ihsan Abdul Jabbar, gave an update on the negotiations with Total in an interview 27 March with the Arabic-language news outlet, AsharqNews.
The most important project is construction of complexes and units to treat associated gas, which will be in two phases with a capacity of 600 million cf, the ministry said. The other projects are a solar energy plant with capacity of 1,000 MW for the Ministry of Electricity, a sea water project and development of the Ratawi field to increase natural gas output.
“The agreement is giant, and the volume of the investment exceeds $7 billion,” the oil minister said of the Total talks in the AsharqNews interview. Reuters reported that Abdul Jabbar said conditions, including political and administrative for the economic model that protects the rights of both parties, have already been agreed.
In the first stage of the Total deal, Iraq is expected to focus on low-carbon solutions to capture all its flare gas and to harness the sun to produce 1 GW of solar power.