Dubai — Iraq aims to speed up plans for an $8-billion petrochemical project with Shell, oil minister Ihsan Ismaael said Aug. 31, as OPEC's second largest oil producer seeks to implement a development first announced in 2012.
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The oil and industry ministries, each of which has a 25% stake in the project, have held meetings to accelerate the implementation of the Nebras project with Shell, which has a 49% interest, Ismaael said in a statement.
He added that the legal and contractual terms should be finalized by year-end.
The project in the southern city of Basra will produce 1.8 million mt a year of polyethylene and will be supplied with sufficient ethane feedstock, the minister said.
Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding with Shell in 2012 to develop Nebras.
Shell's current main asset in Iraq is a 44% stake in the Basra Gas Co, which captures associated gas from the southern Iraqi oil fields to produce electricity. The government-owned South Gas Co. has a 51% stake and Mitsubishi Corp 5%.