TotalEnergies staff reportedly return to Iraq as dispute on energy projects is resolved

The company signed an agreement in 2021 to develop projects worth $27bn in the country

The French company had begun to withdraw staff from Iraq due to the disagreement, reports this week said. AFP
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The dispute between French energy major TotalEnergies and Iraq over $27 billion worth of projects has been settled, with the company's staff returning back to Baghdad, reports say.

TotalEnergies' foreign staff have returned to Iraq and everything is back to normal, two ministry sources told Reuters on Friday.

In 2021, Iraq signed an agreement with TotalEnergies to develop oil and gas and renewable energy projects worth $27 billion.

TotalEnergies said at the time that it would make an initial investment of $10 billion in the country.

Iraq reportedly wanted to take a 40 per cent stake in the projects, as opposed to the 25 to 30 per cent stake proposed by TotalEnergies.

The French company had begun to withdraw staff from Iraq due to the disagreement, Iraq Oil Report said this week.

However, a representative for the oil ministry told The National on Thursday that the government supports the deal.

“We have no problems with TotalEnergies and our relations are good and growing,” the representative said.

“There are some differences including the shares in the project and time has been given to continue the talks to reach a solution that is acceptable to concerned parties.

“Both sides are keen to move forward to reach [an] agreement in a way that benefits their interests,” the representative added.

The National has reached out to TotalEnergies for comment.

Opec’s second-largest producer Iraq depends on oil revenue to meet 90 per cent of government expenditure.

The country exports about 3.3 million barrels of oil per day, while production in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region amounts to more than 450,000 bpd.

Updated: February 03, 2023, 6:02 PM