Beijing-based China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has won a contract to develop the Iraq Mansuriya gas field near the Iranian border, according to a statement from the country’s Oil Ministry.

Sinopec won the contract in a bidding round held at the oil ministry headquarters in Baghdad on 20 April, the ministry said.

Under the 25-year contract, Sinopec will hold a 49% stake and Iraq’s state-run Midland Oil Company will hold 51%.

There is an option to extend the contract for an additional five years.

The field, near the Iranian border, is expected to produce 300 million standard cubic feet (Mscf) a day of gas, which will be used for electricity generation.

In 2011, an agreement had been signed for the field to be developed by Turkish Petroleum (37.5%), Iraqi Oil Exploration Company (25%), privately owned Kuwait Energy (22.5%) and state-owned Korea Gas Corporation (15%).

This consortium stopped development in 2014 due to security concerns, with Islamic State militants taking over swathes of territory across the north and west of Iraq.

The agreement was reportedly cancelled in 2018.

The 4.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) Mansuriya gas field lies in the eastern Diyala province.

It was originally intended to be developed in order to help alleviate Iraq’s chronic power shortages by providing feedstock for a new power station in the area. The Mansuriya power plant has been operating on imported gas from Iran since 2017.

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