Qatar is reportedly in talks to acquire a stake from French oil supermajor TotalEnergies’ $27 billion cluster of energy projects in Iraq according to Reuters.
The Qatari investment could represent a significant win for Iraq’s new Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani, having taken office only last October, towards countering Iranian influence by having another Gulf state have a sizeable investment in their country.
QatarEnergy is said to be seeking to acquire a stake of around 30% in the project, at a time when other supermajors, BP, ExxonMobil and Shell have all scaled back their operations and investments.
Conversely, TotalEnergies signed an agreement with Baghdad in 2021 to build four major water, gas, power, and solar projects in the south of Iraq over a period of 25 years requiring an initial investment of $10 billion.
According to Reuters, the deal includes “the construction of a natural gas gathering network to supply local power stations through the expansion of the Ratawi field, building a large-scale seawater treatment facility to boost output from other fields using water injection and a large solar power plant in the Basra region”.
France and Iraq jointly organised a conference in support of Baghdad in Jordan, attended by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as Iran, despite Arab nations efforts to counter Tehran’s influence in Iraq.
TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy, are expected to reach an agreement regarding acquiring a stake in the project imminently. The two energy companies are partners in other projects such as Lebanon’s gas field, according to CNBC’s Middle Eastern anchor, Hadley Gamble this morning, as well as their existing partnership in Qatar’s mammoth LNG production and other projects in Namibia, South Africa and Guyana.