The French TotalEnergies on Sunday signed a contract with Iraq for 27 billion dollars (nearly 23 billion euros) of investments in the production of gas, oil and the exploitation of solar energy, announced the Iraqi Minister of Petroleum.
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This mega-contract has a total value of "
27 billion dollars
", indicated Ihssan Ismaïl during a press conference at the end of the signing ceremony in Baghdad with the CEO of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné. Asked by AFP, the French group made no comment or confirmed the amount of the contract. "
This is the biggest investment by a Western company in Iraq,
" said Ihssan Ismaïl. “
The implementation of these projects is the challenge we are now facing.
Harnessing solar energy is said to reduce Iraq's dependence on fossil fuels.
Iraq has immense reserves of oil and gas.
It is the second country in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), but it is facing an acute energy crisis and endless blackouts that fuel social discontent.
Oil, more than 90% of the country's income
Iraqi officials are trying to justify the lack of investment and the dilapidated state of the network by falling oil prices, which represent more than 90% of the country's income. Iraq is therefore ultra-dependent on its Iranian neighbor, which supplies it with a third of its gas and electricity needs. A dependency that sullies the note: Baghdad owes Tehran six billion dollars in arrears for its energy supply.
The contract signed with TotalEnergies covers four projects, a source told the Iraqi Oil Ministry before the contract was signed on Sunday. One aims to bring seawater from the Gulf to the oil fields in southern Iraq. Water is used to extract oil buried in basements. Two other projects concern the extraction and exploitation of gas in the southern fields of Iraq which are full of fossil fuels.
Finally, the fourth project concerns the installation of a field of solar panels in Artawi, near Basra (south).
Ultimately, the panels should produce "
" said this Iraqi source, the equivalent of the energy released by a nuclear reactor.
Iraq will pay nothing,
" she said.
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The former Total, one of the five world “
”, has just renamed itself TotalEnergies to symbolize its diversification into cleaner energies.
The group, still largely focused on oil and gas, is showing its intention to devote 20% of its growth investments this year to electricity and renewable energies.