French multinational integrated oil and gas entity- Total SE is collaborating with Iraq to work on the development of four associated gas and solar power projects, in order to reduce the dependence on Iranian energy imports required to generate power.
According to a statement by the Oil Ministry of Iraq, the most integral scheme includes the construction of units and complexes to treat gas, which will be carried out in two phases with a capacity of nearly 600 million cf.
The other project includes the development of a solar energy plant holding a capacity of 1,000 MW for the Ministry of Electricity, a seawater scheme as well as the expansion of the Ratawi field to drive natural gas availability.
Ihsan Ismaael, Oil Minister of Iraq, was reportedly quoted stating that both Total and Iraq signed an MoU on January 27, 2021, to support the development of the proposed projects. Through this plan, both wish to cooperate on associated gas projects in Diyala in the east, Ratawi in the south, and Anbar in the north-eastern region of Iraq.
Notably, Iraq is aiming at reducing its dependence on the import of gas and electricity from Iran, since it comes under rising US pressure. Ever since, in 2018, the US imposed sanctions on the energy sector of Tehran, Iraq has been receiving waivers from the US to carry on with importing energy from Iran.
It is worth noting that, Iraq requires energy imports to prevent power shortages primarily during the hot summer months when the temperature is as high as 50 degrees Celsius in the south.
At present, Iraq produces gas that is pumped with oil, which is subject to OPEC+ quota restrictions, reducing the amount which can be used to generate power.
With limited services across Iraq when compared to other oil giants like BP, Eni, and ExxonMobil, Total aims at establishing a central gas complex in Ratawi in order to collect and refine gas from Majnun, Tuba, Lahis, West Qurnah/2, and Ratawi oil fields.