By John Lee.

Shell is reported to be still in the process of evaluating the viability of the $11-billion Nebras petrochemical complex in Basra.

The project was designed to produce 1.8 million mt/year of various petrochemicals, using naphtha as a feedstock.

Last year, Reuters reported that Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) was in talks to join the project, but according to S&P Global Platts there has been no update on the progress of these talks.

(Source: S&P Global Platts)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced six new investment opportunities in Iraq:

  1. New Housing Compounds, Ministry of Water Resources
  2. Lime plant in Karbala, Iraqi Cement State Company
  3. Caustic/chlorine plant in Khor al-Zubair, State Company for Petrochemical Industries
  4. Industrial and medical gases, Al-Zawraa State Company
  5. Chlorine plant in Muthanna, General Company for Mining Industries
  6. Paper sack production, Iraqi Cement State Company

(Source: National Investment Commission)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) is in talks to join Iraq’s Nebras petrochemical project, according to a report from Reuters.

An advisor to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the news agency at the CWC Iraq Petroleum Conference in Berlin that talks are at advanced stage at ministerial level.

He said SABIC would enter as a fourth partner in the project, along with Shell and the Iraqi oil and agriculture ministries.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has awarded the Al Faw [Al Fao] refinery and petrochemicals project to two Chinese companies.

In a statement, the ministy named the companies as Power China and “Nerco Chinese Companies“.

Mr. Assim Jihad, the spokesman of the Ministry,  said the refinery will have a capacity is 300,000 barrels/day.

He added that the project contains an integrated complex for petrochemicals, in addition to another facilities near the export port in Faw.

The ministry is planning to become self-sufficient in oil products by investing in the refining sector, and to become an exporting country.

Invitations will soon be issued to investment companies to participate in the Anbar refinery (150,000 bpd), Qayara refinery (10,000 bpd), and Thi-Qar [Dhi Qar] refinery (150,000 bpd), in addition to other projects to be announced soon.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Saudi Arabian companies have signed 18 agreements with the Iraqi government to jointly develop several key projects in the energy sector.

The statement from the Iraqi Oil Ministry gave little detail, but quotes the Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid Al-Falih as saying that Saudi companies are keen to develop relations with Iraq, adding that several important Saudi companies will open their branches in Iraq to “achieve more bilateral cooperation and expand the size of investments in the sectors of oil, gas, industry, importing, infrastructure and [other sectors].”

According to Reuters, both petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Saudi Arabia’s Industrialization & Energy Services Co (TAQA) are planning to open offices in Iraq.

(Sources: Iraqi Oil Ministry, Reuters)

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly contracted Japan’s Toyo Engineering to help build a gas pipeline to Kuwait and a petrochemical plant as Baghdad.

According to a report from Reuters, the move will help Iraq to reduce flaring and finish paying the reparations owed to Kuwait for the invasion in 1990.

The project would allow Kuwait to reduce its dependency on Qatar as a supplier of gas; deliveries could begin as early as 2019.

It would also deal a blow to Shell, which aimed to be the dominant gas player in Iraq before relations with Baghdad soured following it’s planned exit from the Majnoon oil project.

Toyo told Reuters that talks are ongoing and a final decision has not yet been made.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Oil giant Shell is trying to sell its stake in the Majnoon oilfield (pictured) in southern Iraq, following a failure to reach agreement with Iraq’s Ministry of Oil.

A Shell spokesman told UAE-based newspaper The National:

“Following extensive discussions with the Ministry of Oil, the oil minister of Iraq formally endorsed a recent Shell proposal to pursue an amicable and mutually acceptable release of the Shell interest in Majnoon, with the timeline to be agreed in due course.”

Reuters quotes an oil official as confirming that the Ministry failed to reach an agreement with Shell over its Majnoon operations, including production plans and investments budgets. “We think it’s for the interest of all parties that Shell should withdraw,” he added.

A Shell spokesman told Reuters:

“In May 2017, the ministry of oil in Iraq applied the performance penalty and remuneration factor on the Shell operated venture, the Majnoon oil field, which had a significant impact on its commerciality.”

The company holds a 45-percent share in the project, with Malaysia’s Petronas holding 30 percent, and the Iraqi state-owned Maysan Oil Company having 25 percent.

Output from the field, which commenced production in 2014, is currently estimated at around 235,000 barrels per day (bpd), with a 400,000 bpd target by 2020.

Shell is also seeking to selling its stake in the ExxonMobil-operated West Qurna 1 oil field.

In addition to its oil interests in Iraq, Shell is a key player in the Basra Gas Company (BGC), a joint venture between the Iraq’s South Gas Company (SGC) (51%), Shell (44%) and Japan’s Mitsubishi (5%), which processes gas from the Rumaila, West Qurna and Zubair fields, which would otherwise be flared.

The National also quotes a Shell spokesman as saying that the company remains committed to this, and to its petrochemical project in Iraq:

“By leaving Majnoon, Shell will be in a stronger position to focus its efforts on the development and growth of the Basrah Gas Company and the Nebras Petrochemicals Project.

(Sources: Reuters, The National)

By John Lee.

Russia’s Lukoil is in talks with Shell and Total regarding their participation in a petrochemical complex in southern Iraq.

President Vagit Alekperov (pictured) told TASS:

“To create a petrochemical complex – now the negotiations are under way with Shell and with Total. The Iraqi side supports our efforts.”

He added that Iraq is ready to start negotiations to improved contract terms.

(Source: TASS)

By John Lee.

A spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Industry and Minerals has said that the ministry is about to finalise a partnership contract with French company Total to set up a giant petrochemical project in Basra province.

Abdul Wahid al-Shammari made the comments following a visit by the company’s representative in Baghdad.

He said the project would take advantage of local products such as oil and gas, turning them into plastic.

Specific investment terms and capacity details have not yet been disclosed.

(Sources: Shafaaq, Hydrocarbon Processing)