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Iraqi government energy committee backs dialogue with Chevron on exploration blocks

Highlights

Chevon, Iraq had signed framework agreement in Aug 2020

Committee recommends moving ahead with Nebras petchem project

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An Iraqi government energy committee backs holding a dialogue with Chevron to develop four exploration blocks in the southern Dhi Qar province, the oil ministry said in a statement Oct. 4, as OPEC's second largest producer continues to court international oil companies to its energy sector.

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Chevron and Iraq's oil ministry had signed in August 2020 "a framework for entering into exclusive negotiation on an exploration, development, and production contract in the Dhi Qar province," according to a US department of energy statement at the time.

Chevron's agreement was part of $8 billion worth of deals signed between US energy companies and Iraq during Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi's visit to Washington in August 2020.

The committee also recommended to move ahead with the Nebras petrochemical project, the ministry statement said.

Shell is continuing negotiations with Iraq over the 1.5 million mt/year Nebras ethane cracker, Ali al-Janabi, the country chairman of Shell Group of Companies Iraq & UAE told S&P Global Platts Sept. 22

Shell and Iraq signed a detailed heads of agreement on the project in 2015.

Shell has revised down the cost of the project, Janabi said, without disclosing the new figure. The project cost was previously estimated at $8 billion.

The committee also approved the expansion of Diwaniyah refinery, the statement said, without giving more details.