March 19 (Reuters) – Talks between French oil major TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) and Iraq to resolve sticking points in a long-delayed $27 billion energy deal “have reached an advanced stage”, Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani said on Sunday.
“We will activate the deal very soon,” Abdel-Ghani told an energy event.
The proposed deal, which Baghdad hopes will boost foreign investment in the country, was signed in 2021 for TotalEnergies to build four oil, gas and renewable energy projects with an initial investment of $10 billion in the southern Iraq over 25 years.
However, disputes between Iraqi politicians over the terms of the agreement.
Iraq’s demand for a 40% stake in the project is a key sticking point while TotalEnergies wants a majority stake, sources told Reuters.
Asked if the question of Iraq’s share in the project was resolved, Abdel-Ghani replied: “Now is not the time to discuss the shares and we will announce them when an agreement is reached” .
Abdel-Ghani also said Iraq is committed to maintaining its oil production of 220,000 barrels per day (bpd) in line with its quota under the latest OPEC+ deal.
The country is also ready to increase production if needed by the OPEC+ producer group.
“We have forced some oil companies operating in the south to cut production to comply with the rates agreed by OPEC+,” he added.
Reporting by Moayed Kenany Writing by Ahmed Rasheed and Hatem Maher Editing by David Goodman
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