INOC to be Partner in TotalEnergies Basra Projects

By John Lee.

The Iraqi cabinet has approved a plan for the newly-formed Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) to be a financial partner with TotalEnergies in its projects in Basra.

It said it will support INOC to "maximize revenues and financial returns to the general budget."

In September, TotalEnergies signed a number of major agreements covering several projects in the Basra region, designed to enhance the development of Iraq's natural resources to improve the country's electricity supply.

These agreements include:

  • The construction of a new gas gathering network and treatment units to supply the local power stations, with TotalEnergies also bringing its expertise to optimize the oil and gas production of the Ratawi field, by building and operating new capacities.
  • The construction of a large-scale seawater treatment unit to increase water injection capacities in southern Iraq fields without increasing water withdrawals as the country is currently facing a water-stress situation. This water injection is required to maintain pressure in several fields and as such will help optimizing the production of the natural resources in the Basra region.
  • The construction and operation of a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 1 GWp to supply electricity to the grid in the Basra region.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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Ministerial Energy Council urges Progress on Refineries

By John Lee.

At the most recent meeting of Iraq's Ministerial Energy Council, headed by Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail, the Council decided that the South Refineries Company (SRC) should "take the necessary steps" to develop the Shuaiba refinery in Basra Governorate.

It also urged the acceleration of work on the 140,000-bpd Karbala oil refinery, and recommended the study of the final steps for the development and expansion of the Al-Diwaniyah Refinery.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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TotalEnergies signs $10bn New Deals in Iraq

TotalEnergies, the Iraqi Ministries for oil and electricity, and the country's National Investment Commission (NIC) have signed, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Iraq, major agreements covering several projects in the Basra region, designed to enhance the development of Iraq's natural resources to improve the country's electricity supply.

Iraq, a country rich in natural resources, is indeed experiencing electricity shortages while it faces a sharp increase in demand from the population.

TotalEnergies, with the support of the Iraqi authorities, on the one hand will invest in installations to recover gas that is being flared on three oil fields and as such supply gas to 1,5 GW of power generation capacity in a first phase growing to 3 GW in a second phase, and, on the other hand, will also develop 1 GWac of solar electricity generation capacity to supply the Basra regional grid.

These agreements include:

  • The construction of a new gas gathering network and treatment units to supply the local power stations, with TotalEnergies also bringing its expertise to optimize the oil and gas production of the Ratawi field, by building and operating new capacities.
  • The construction of a large-scale seawater treatment unit to increase water injection capacities in southern Iraq fields without increasing water withdrawals as the country is currently facing a water-stress situation. This water injection is required to maintain pressure in several fields and as such will help optimizing the production of the natural resources in the Basra region.
  • The construction and operation of a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 1 GWp to supply electricity to the grid in the Basra region.

These projects represent a total investment of approximately $10 billion (100% share).

Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies' Chairman and CEO, said:

"These agreements signal our return through the front door to Iraq, the country where our Company was born in 1924. Our ambition is to assist Iraq in building a more sustainable future by developing access to electricity for its people through a more sustainable use of the country's natural resources such as: reduction of gas flaring that generates air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water resource management and development of solar energy.

"This project perfectly illustrates the new sustainable development model of TotalEnergies, a multi-energy Company which supports producing countries in their energy transition by combining the production of natural gas and solar energy to meet the growing demand for electricity. It also demonstrates how TotalEnergies can leverage its unique position in the Middle East, a region where the lowest-cost hydrocarbons are produced, to gain access to large-scale renewable projects."

(Sources: TotalEnergies, Ministry of Oil)

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Japan extends $300m Loan for Basra Refinery

By John Lee.

Japan's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Motegi Toshimitsu, visited Iraq on Saturday, meeting with Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and President Barham Salih.

Minister Motegi announced that Japan intends to extend the "Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project (Phase 3)" Yen loan project (up to the amount of 32.7 billion yen) [$300 million], and expressed his hopes that this project would contribute to providing the stable supply of energy and to creating jobs in Iraq. In response, Minister Hussein expressed his gratitude.

Minister Motegi added that he appreciates the publication of the "White Paper for Economic and Financial Reforms", and stated that Japan looks to support Iraq's reform efforts together with the international community through the "Iraq Economic Contact Group."

Both sides also exchanged views on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and means to improve the business and investment environment in Iraq.

(Source: Govt of Japan)

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Wood Wins 5-Year Contract in Iraq

By John Lee.

Scottish-based Wood, the global consulting and engineering company, has announced that it has been awarded a five-year contract to deliver specialist engineering solutions at a major oilfield in Iraq.

The company did not specify which oilfield, or the value of the contract. It has previously won business at the West Qurna 1 field.

In a statement, Wood said it will improve day-to-day operations of the oilfield's producing assets and supporting facilities, while continuing to invest in local talent development programmes and exploring opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The contract will be delivered by Wood's in-country teams in Basra, supported by the company's engineering office in Dubai.

(Source: Wood)

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Axens to support Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project

By John Lee.

French-based Axens -- part of the IFP Energies Nouvelles group -- has said it is pleased to continue working with JGC Corporation on the Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi laid the foundation stone for the $4bn-project.

In a statement, the company said:

Part of Iraq's Ministry of Oil, the state-owned South Refineries Company (SRC) executed the upgrading of its refinery located in Basrah, Iraq by implementing a new refining plant adjacent to the existing refinery facility. The Basrah Upgrading Project is now reaching the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) phase carried out by JGC Corporation (JGC).

Axens is pleased to continue being involved in this important Iraqi project, which will increase the gasoline and diesel production along with other oil products, reducing the national refined products imports. The Basrah Upgrading Project will also improve oil refinery efficiency of the complete facility.

Different Axens' technologies were selected and will be used:

  • a Diesel hydrotreatment unit (Prime-DTM)
  • a VGO Hydrotreating unit
  • a VGO FCC unit
  • an oligomerization unit (PolynaphthaTM)

Thus, an integrated scheme around the FCC unit is implemented thanks to Axens' unique position for a complete FCC suite of technologies from pre-treatment to post-treatment. The PolynaphthaTM technology downstream the FCC unit for oligomerization of light olefins aims at maximizing gasoline production.

With this award, another reference is added to the long list of more than 300 FCC projects. Industrial successes in this domain keep the FCC Alliance as a global leader with a track record of 4 new grassroots FCC units started up in the past 4 years.

In addition, Axens will provide catalysts & adsorbents, key technology features such as proprietary equipment, trainings and technical services.

Jacques Rault, Conversion & clean fuels Business Line Director, Process Licensing at Axens, said:

"The Basrah refinery is expanding its operations by increasing its gasoline and diesel production while improving the fuels quality. This will help to solve one of the main challenges to lower national petroleum products imports revitalizing the Iraqi refining sector damaged by war and deterioration. South Refineries Company selected Axens for its wide and proven experience in refining as a partner to supply technologies but also to support throughout the whole project."

Ibraheem Al-Salihi, FCC Project Manager, South Refineries Company, said:

"The Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Southern Refineries Company with the support of the Japanese government represented by the JICA Organization are doing great work to complete the Basrah Refinery Development / FCC Project by adopting the latest technologies and designs provided by Axens. With the construction contract signed with the Japanese company JGC on October 1, 2020 and then activated on February 15, 2021, the project activities started according to the agreed schedule. Among other developments, we are pleased to complete this vital and important project that supports the production of oil derivatives meeting international standards and environmental requirements adopted in this field and relieves the burden of oil products imports."

(Source: Axens)

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Iraqi PM lays Foundation Stone for $4bn Refinery Project

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has laid the foundation stone for the South Refineries Company (SRC)'s new Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) complex at Basrah Refinery.

The project will be built by Japan's JGC Corporation, and will increase refinery capacity by 55,000 barrels per day (bpd).

It will be funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

More information here, here and here.

(Sources: Iraqi Ministry of Oil, Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)

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Iraq Pushes Faw Refinery Project

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Ministry of Oil has invited international companies to participate in the competition to implement the Faw Refinery Project in Basra.

The project will be offered on a BOO (Build, Own, Operate) or BOOT (Build, Own, Operate, Transfer) basis.

Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said the refinery will be environmentally friendly and in conformity with international standards (EURO 5), adding that a petrochemical complex will be added to the project in the future.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

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New Hospital Opened in Basra

By John Lee.

Dar Al-Shifa Hospital has been opened in Al-Zubair district in Basra Province.

The hospital, a private-sector investment project which created 100 new jobs and cost $24 million, has a capacity of 60 beds, five operating theatres, an ophthalmology centre, a dental clinic, a maternity ward, an emergency department, laboratories and a pharmacy.

The Iraqi Government said it encourages private investment in Iraq's health infrastructure as part of its strategy to build a modern and accessible healthcare system.

(Source: Iraqi Government)

Foreign Staff Evacuated from Basra Gas Company

 By John Lee.

Shell has reportedly evacuated its foreign staff who had been working at the Basra Gas Company (BGC).

BGC executives told Reuters that around 60 staff were flown out on Wednesday after workers who had been laid off staged a protest.

Shell has a 44-percent stake in the $17-billion, 25-year BGC project, with Iraq's South Gas Company (SGC) having 51 percent, and Japan's Mitsubishi 5 percent.

(Source: Reuters)