French energy giant TotalEnergies and the government of Iraq hope to start the $27bn project in the next two weeks, reported Reuters, citing the country’s oil minister Abdel-Ghani.
In the next two weeks, five side agreements related to the project are expected to be signed, enabling the implementation to begin, said Abdel-Ghani.
The multibillion-dollar agreement was inked in September 2021, but it kept running into obstacles because of disagreements over the terms.
The agreement will see TotalEnergies develop four oil, gas, and renewables projects in Southern Iraq with an initial investment of $10bn.
In April, Iraq agreed to reduce its stake in the project from 40% to 30%, in hopes to bring back investments in oil to the country.
Major companies such as bp, Shell and Exxon Mobil have scaled down their operations in Iraq over the past years.
While, Iraq’s stake will be held by state-owned Basra Oil Company (BOC), QatarEnergy will also hold a 25% stake in the mega-project.
“We confirm that discussions are advancing,” a TotalEnergies spokesperson was quoted by the news agency as saying.
Last week, TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said the two parties had reached an agreement on Iraq’s stake in the 25-year project.
“The government of Iraq confirmed the whole contract, no modification at all – so that was for me more than a good news,” Pouyanne said on TotalEnergies’ Q1 results call.