June 8, 2021 | oil and gas

Saudi Arabia interested in investing in oil, petrochemical projects: Iraqi oil ministry


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Saudi Arabia has expressed its desire to invest in gas projects and the petrochemical industry in Iraq, according to a Monday statement from the Ministry of Oil.

Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail discussed, during a televised meeting on Monday with Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's desire to invest in Iraqi gas and petrochemical projects.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Electricity Majid Mahdi, the head of the Investment Authority Suha al-Najjar and a number of officials, while officials from Aramco, SABIC and Waco Power attended on the Saudi side, according to the ministry.

Saudi Arabian companies are interested in gas investment projects, particularly in oil fields in Anbar and Basra, as well as the Nibras petrochemical complex, one of the largest in the Middle East, the statement added.

Last week, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which Iraq and Saudi Arabia are both members, agreed to continue slowly increasing oil production over the next few months, following production cuts brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In March, Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi visited Saudi Arabia and signed several new agreements. Saudi Arabia announced in mid-October it would increase its investments in Iraq by 10 billion Saudi riyals ($2.7 billion USD).

Iraq and Saudi have enjoyed closer ties in recent years, as Saudi Arabia looks to offset Iranian influence in the region. Rapprochement between the two began in 2015, when Saudi Arabia reopened their Baghdad embassy after 25 years of closure. In October, the two countries agreed to open the Arar border crossing, originally closed in 1991.

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