ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Tuesday said his country is close to signing a $53 billion, 30-year energy agreement with Exxon Mobil and PetroChina.
The country expects to generate $400 billion over the three-decade-long agreement, Abdul-Mahdi said.
He also denied the existence of any link between the mega-project and the United States’ permission for Iraq to do business with neighboring Iran.
The project, which is located in the country’s south, involves upgrading the Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi oilfields and boosting output from the two oilfields from 125,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 500,000 bpd, the prime minister said.
Iranian media quoted the country’s top envoy in London on Monday, who reportedly said Washington would grant sanction waivers to Iraq to economically deal with Iran in exchange for Baghdad inking an oil deal with the US.
“Talks now between the oil ministry and Exxon Mobil and PetroChina are focused on how to split profits if oil prices rise or decline,” Abdul Mahdi told a Reuters reporter.
“The deal lasts for 30 years, and such financial details are sensitive and should be given more discussions,” he added.
Iraq is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) second-largest producer just after Saudi Arabia and currently has an output below its maximum capacity of nearly five million bpd.
The agreement is one of a few key strategic deals for Iraq. The signing of the project is expected to considerably boost Exxon Mobil’s plans to expand in the oil-rich country.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany