The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has signed an agreement with the US-based Baker Hughes company to invest in associated gas in the fields of Nasiriyah and Al-Gharraf.
The ministry said the project agreement with the American company targets a capacity of 200 million standard cubic feet per day in Dhi Qar Governorate, 375 km south of Baghdad.
The project is considered one of the most important projects that Iraq has been working on for a while to reduce financial problems and the budget deficit.
In turn, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, head of the government’s Energy Committee, said that the project costs $370 million for a period of 30 months.
He pointed out that “Iraq needs to implement giant strategic projects to develop all its resources within a specific period of time.”
Abdul-Jabbar suggested that crude oil prices will remain for the remainder of this year at the level of $65 per barrel and will reach $70 during the first quarter of next year.
He said that the average Iraqi crude oil exports for the current month, including the exports of the Kurdistan region, range from 3.3 million barrels to 3.4 million barrels per day.
He stated that the global oil market is witnessing a recovery in oil prices despite the challenges, noting that the ministry is currently conducting negotiations with foreign companies to invest gas in the Akkas field in Anbar Governorate, which is part of the Iraqi government’s program to invest gas in the country.
The security situation constitutes an obstacle to expediting the reaching of understandings with the companies, but the ministry is determined to proceed with negotiations to reach an acceptable formula, he said.
Abdul-Jabbar added, “There is no change in the positions of the oil-exporting countries (OPEC) at its meeting next month regarding production rates as long as oil prices remain at their current levels.”
In December of last year, the Basra-based South Gas Company announced that it had signed a contract with Baker Hughes GE to invest gas in the Al-Gharraf and Nasiriyah fields with a total capacity of 200 million standard cubic feet of gas.
Meanwhile, Iraq’s current production of associated natural gas is 2.7 billion cubic feet per day, and it aims to reach 3.1 billion cubic feet.
According to previous estimates, Iraq has a stockpile of 132 trillion cubic feet of gas, 700 billion cubic feet of which were burned, as a result of the poor ability to exploit it.