Qatar negotiates Total to acquire a stake in its projects in Iraq

Qatar is in talks to acquire a share of a group of energy projects belonging to France’s Total Energy worth $27 billion in Iraq, as Baghdad hopes to stop the efforts of Western energy companies to get out of the country, three sources told Reuters.

Qatar Energy is looking to acquire a stake in about 30 percent in the project, one of the sources said.

Energy companies rarely own 100% of the projects and prefer to enter into partnerships to reduce risk.

Oil companies are seeking to leave Iraq as a result of weak revenue-sharing agreements.

When Total Energy and Baghdad signed an agreement in 2021 to build four giant solar, gas, electricity and water projects in southern Iraq over 25 years, hopes were high that companies would refrain from leaving the country.

ExxonMobil, Shell and B. B to reduce its operations in Iraq over the past few years.

But the project, which aims to boost Iraq’s economy and reduce its dependence on Iranian gas, has yet to be launched.

Total Energy’s deal with Iraq, which needs an initial investment of $10 billion, followed a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron in September 2021.

Sources closely linked to the deal told Reuters in February 2022 that the terms of the agreement, which have not yet been announced and previously published, raised concerns among Iraqi politicians and were unprecedented for Iraq.

The deal includes the construction of a natural gas collection network to supply local power plants through the expansion of the Artawi field, the construction of a large-scale seawater treatment facility to boost production from other fields with water injection technology, and the construction of a large solar power plant in Basra, but little progress has been made since then.

Disputes over the terms of the agreement threaten the project to cancel, sources told Reuters last year.

Neither Qatar Energy nor Qatar’s government liaison office have so far responded to a request for comment on the talks.

Total Energies also did not confirm the agreement when contacted by Reuters.

A senior official at Iraq’s oil ministry said he was unaware of Qatar Energy’s plans to acquire a stake in the Total Energies project.

A spokesman for the Elysee Palace said Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani would travel to Paris later on Thursday and meet Macron.

One of the sources told Reuters that Al-Sudani will also meet with Total Energys CEO Patrick Pouyanne in an effort to end the crisis.

Qatar Energy and Total Energies are in talks on a stake in the project, two of the sources said, and there is high confidence that the deal will be made, although no final agreement has yet been reached.قطر-تفاوض-توتال-للاستحواذ-على-حصة-في-مشروعاتها-بالعراق