Saudi Arabia, Iraq to sign multibillion-dollar deals in energy sectors

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Saudi Aramco
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The Iraqi government and Saudi Arabia, the two biggest producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), plan to sign multibillion-dollar contracts in energy, petrochemicals, and water.

The agreements would be a significant step in pulling out the war-torn country off Iranian oil imports while also strengthening its relations with the Kingdom.

According to reports, Baghdad, the Iraq capital is in discussions with Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, on forming a joint venture to explore and produce natural gas reserves in Iraq’s western desert. It is also in talks with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA, a power plant developer to build water desalination plants and solar energy stations in Iraq.

Other than Saudi Arabia, the UAE is among the GCC countries that are boosting its bilateral relationship with Iraq. Last month, the UAE and Iraq agreed to promote and protect mutual investments as Emirati companies seek to expand their investments in Iraqi industries such as clean energy and logistics.

UAE’s renewable energy company Masdar signed a strategic deal with Baghdad’s Ministry of Electricity and National Investment Commission recently to build power stations in five locations across Iraq that will generate 1GW.

Moreover, Abu Dhabi Ports Group and the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) signed a preliminary agreement last month to explore potential investments and improve cooperation in the transportation and maritime sectors.

Saudi Arabia has also reopened its embassy in Baghdad, and the two nations formed a coordination council to improve relations. They’ve since inked several agreements on politics, security, and trade, paving the way for the opening of a major border crossing.

Related: Saudi Aramco & TotalEnergies open 2 new service stations in the Kingdom