Algeria's Sonatrach in Iraqi gas joint venture

Tie-up between Algeria's government owned hydrocarbon outfit and Iraqi firms will see less wastage of the natural gas generated during crude oil production.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al Luiebi
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al Luiebi

Algeria’s state-run company Sonatrach is to invest in projects to help develop Iraq’s natural gas industry, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said in a statement on Monday January 7, cited by Reuters.

Algerian Energy Minister Mustapha Guitouni and Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar Al Luiebi signed an initial deal in Baghdad to establish joint ventures between Sonatrach and Iraqi natural gas companies, according to the statement.

Iraq does not possess the facilities to process the natural gas extracted alongside its crude oil into fuel for local use or export.

Algeria is a major supplier of gas to Europe and the hydrocarbon sector underpins its economy, representing more than a third of its total GDP and more than two thirds of its entire exports.

“Sonatrach will work with Iraqi gas producing companies to invest in processing gas produced from oilfields to supply electrical power plants and the petrochemical and fertilisers industries,” Luiebi stated in the ministry statement.

Iraq is the second biggest crude producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), with an output of just under 4.4 million barrels per day (bpd). Fellow Opec member Algeria produces just over 1 million bpd.

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