Iraq plans billions of dollars of energy contracts with Saudi Arabia – report

An Iraqi oil worker speaks on a radio at an oil refinery in the southern town of Nasiriyah, Iraq, October 30, 2015. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Iraqi government plans to sign energy contracts worth tens of billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia, the state newspaper Al-Sabah reported on Monday.

Iraq is discussing a partnership with Saudi Aramco to explore and develop natural gas fields in Iraq’s western desert, Iraqi oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told the newspaper.

The federal government is also in talks with Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power to build water desalination plants and solar energy stations in Iraq, he said.

The two countries are also discussing joint petrochemical projects, according to Al-Sabah, citing the oil minister.

The Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement extends back to 2015, when Saudi Arabia reopened its embassy in Baghdad following a 25-year break.

In March, the two countries signed five agreements during a visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Riyadh. The agreements covered financial, commercial, economic, cultural and media fields.

In Nov. 2020, Iraq and Saudi Arabia also reopened the Arar border crossing for trade exchange. Arar has been closed since 1990 after the two countries cut ties following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait.

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