Iraq to sign contracts worth billions of dollars with Saudi

Iraq to sign contracts worth billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia
1 min read
01 November, 2021
The Iraqi government plans to sign energy contracts worth tens of billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia.
econd-largest oil producer in the OPEC oil cartel, outranked only by Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Iraq plans to sign deals worth tens of billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar announced on Monday.

Baghdad is discussing a partnership with energy giant Saudi Aramco to explore and develop natural gas fields in Iraq's western desert, the daily Al-Sabah quoted Abdul Jabbar as saying.

The Iraqi government is also in talks with Saudi Arabia's Acwa Power to build water desalination plants and solar energy stations in Iraq, the report added.

The two countries, who share borders, are also discussing joint petrochemical projects.

Iraq is the second-largest oil producer in the OPEC cartel, outranked only by Saudi Arabia.

Despite this, the country has regular power cuts, which fuels social unrest. It is extremely dependent on Saudi rival Iran, which provides a third of its needs in gas and electricity.

A third of the population lives in poverty, with the pandemic and the fall of the price of crude in 2020 aggravating the situation, according to the United Nations.

The country is also plagued by corruption which has eaten up more than 410 billion euros ($474 billion) since 2003, according to official figures.