The Iraqi oil ministry said in a statement on Monday that the Ministerial Energy Council has approved talks with Chevron for the development of four (4) exploration blocks in the country’s southern region.
The Energy Council stated that the development of exploration blocks in the southern province of Dhi Qar is critical for “promoting and sustaining national production, and contributing to the national economy and sustainable development projects.”
The expansion of the country’s Diwaniyah refinery in southern Iraq was also approved by the ministerial council on Monday. The extent and financial specifics of the anticipated expansion were not disclosed in the oil ministry’s announcement.
After oil giants such as ExxonMobil and Lukoil considered leaving the country due to political instability and security concerns, Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, is attempting to attract more foreign energy corporations to engage in the country’s hydrocarbons industry.
The country’s cabinet authorised BP’s intentions to spin off the development of the country’s largest field, the Rumaila oilfield, earlier this month.
Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Russia’s Lukoil, and Eni of Italy are among the foreign companies actively operating in Iraq’s south.
In September, Iraq’s energy sector investment drought was broken when the oil ministry struck a deal with TotalEnergies of France for four $27 billion oil and gas projects.
According to TotalEnergies’ Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne, the company will make an initial investment of $10 billion in the country, with engineering work on projects to begin “immediately.”
Iraq wants to eradicate gas flaring by 2022, and Total will contribute to that goal by investing in initiatives to collect gas flared across three oilfields in Iraq, as well as the use of gas to create electricity from a 1.5-gigawatt plant in the first phase.