Sonatrach 'Keen to Invest in Iraq': Baghdad
Iraq’s oil minister Jabbar al-Lueibi has expressed interest in Algerian state producer Sonatrach investing in Iraq, during a two-day visit by Algerian energy minister Mustapha Guitouni to Baghdad accompanied by Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour that concludes January 8.
Sonatrach had shown great interest in Iraq particularly in what its knowledge and experience in the gas sector could deliver, according to a statement by al-Lueibi January 7 carried by Algerian state news agency APS. The latter also reported that Guitouni in turn said that Algeria hopes to reinforce its presence in Iraq, through Sonatrach, and to study investment possibilities in all energy sectors, particularly in exploration and in oil and gas development on a win-win basis for both sides.
Both countries are members of Opec. Algeria has exported LNG and pipeline gas to Europe since the 1960s, while Iraq hopes to tap its associated gas production for power generation, and by the 2020s hopes to export any surplus gas from northern Iraq by pipeline via Turkey to Europe.
Al-Lueibi noted Algeria's support to Iraq when the latter decided to nationalise its oil and gas industry [in the 1970s], adding that Sonatrach could also provide valuable assistance in training Iraqi engineers.
Iraq’s oil minister Jabbar Al-Lueibi (right) alongside Algerian energy minister Mustapha Guitouni (Photo credit: Algerian energy ministry / Twitter)