Iraq has allowed state-run Iraqi National Oil Co.'s to start negotiations with Chevron to develop fields in the southern province of Dhi Qar, the country's oil ministry said Nov. 9, as OPEC's second-largest producer seeks to woo much-needed investment from international oil companies to its energy sector.
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The Iraqi cabinet, in its weekly meeting held Nov. 9, approved INOC's initiation of talks, which include the development of four exploration blocks, the oil ministry said in a statement.
The Nasiriyah fields in Dhi Qar could initially produce 600,000 b/d of crude over a seven-year period, the ministry said.
Other potential projects in Dhi Qar are gas development and solar power plants, the ministry added.
"As per Chevron's long-standing policy, we do not comment on commercial matters," a spokeswoman told S&P Global Platts.
INOC and state-owned Dhi Qar Oil Co are in talks with Chevron to develop exploration blocks in Nasiriyah and the companies have agreed on all technical terms and are finalizing commercial terms for the project, Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael said Oct. 6.
"I think within the next few weeks coming we will be in a position to sign the final agreement," he said at the time.
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.
Chevron and Iraq's oil ministry 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.