The Iraq Government has approved the development of French firm TotalEnergies’ Ratawi natural gas project to boost gas production to meet the demand for electricity.

The company aims to boost gas production at the Ratawi field to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd). The field has been producing 60,000bpd.

Additionally, the Iraqi cabinet has approved three more projects for TotalEnergies, reported Iraqi News Agency.

The approval of these four projects follows the signing of a multi-billion dollar investment deal between TotalEnergies and the Iraqi Oil Ministry in March 2021.

A government spokesman was reported by the news agency as saying that the French oil and gas firm has secured approval to produce and process 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mcf/d) from the Ratawi natural gas hub.

The hub will be equipped to process natural gas sourced from the Artawi (Ratawi), West Qurna 2, Luhais, Majnoon, and Tuba fields.

The Ratawi hub is expected to have 300mcf/d production capacity during its first phase. This capacity is planned to be doubled in the second development phase.

TotalEnergie’ third project to receive cabinet approval is the $4bn Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP). It is said to be vital to the development of oilfields in southern Iraq.

The project, which was put on hold for almost a decade due to financial issues, will have an initial capacity of treating 2.5 million barrels of seawater per day.

The fourth project approved for TotalEnergies is the development of the 1GW solar power plant, which is expected to contribute to the country’s efforts to boost installed renewable power capacity.

The approval comes as Iraq seeks to boost the production of gas in order to reduce its reliance on imports from neighbouring Iran.