Total Is Back In Iraq

    A Mix Of Fossil Fuel And Renewable Projects Combine To Develop Iraq’s Basra Region

    Total traces its roots to post-World War I when France established its own oil company to do business in the Middle East. (Image Courtesy Of TotalEnergies)

    TotalEnergies, the Iraqi Ministries for oil and electricity, and Iraq’s National Investment Commission have signed, in the presence of the Prime Minister of Iraq, major agreements covering several projects in the Basra region. The agreements are designed to enhance the development of Iraq’s natural resources to improve the country’s electricity supply. Iraq is experiencing electricity shortages while it faces a sharp increase in demand from a growing and more energy consuming population.

    TotalEnergies, with the support of the Iraqi authorities, will invest in installations to recover gas that is being flared on three oil fields. It will supply gas to 1.5 GW of power generation capacity in a first phase, and grow to 3 GW in a second phase. It will also develop 1 GWac of solar electricity generation capacity to supply the Basra regional grid.

    Project Details

    The agreements include the construction of a new gas gathering network and treatment units to supply local power stations, with TotalEnergies building and operating new capacities to the Ratawi field.

    There’s also an agreement for the construction of a large-scale seawater treatment unit to increase water injection capacities in southern Iraq fields without increasing water withdrawals as the country is currently facing a water-stress situation. This water injection is required to maintain pressure in several fields and as such will help optimize the production of the natural resources in the Basra region.

    The construction and operation of a photovoltaic power plant with a capacity of 1 GWp will supply electricity to the grid in the Basra region.

    All told, the projects represent a total investment of approximately US$10 billion (100% share). “These agreements signal our return through the front door to Iraq, the country where our company was born in 1924, said Patrick Pouyanné, TotalEnergies’ chair and CEO. “Our ambition is to assist Iraq in building a more sustainable future by developing access to electricity for its people through a more sustainable use of the country’s natural resources such as: reduction of gas flaring that generates air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, water resource management, and development of solar energy. This project perfectly illustrates the new sustainable development model of TotalEnergies, a multi-energy company which supports producing countries in their energy transition by combining the production of natural gas and solar energy to meet the growing demand for electricity. It also demonstrates how TotalEnergies can leverage its unique position in the Middle East, a region where the lowest-cost hydrocarbons are produced, to gain access to large-scale renewable projects.”

    Tying It All Together

    Total changed its name to TotalEnergies so the world takes its energy transition more seriously. The company has been making headlines all year for its advancements in fossil fuels, as well as investments in solar energy.

    In March, Total acquired Fonroche Biogaz, a French Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) company.

    In April, Total signed a Technical Collaboration Agreement with Siemens Energy to study sustainable solutions for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction. The collaboration will focus on natural gas liquefaction facilities and associated power generation.

    A couple of weeks ago, Total announced it is developing a 100% renewable fuel for motorsport competition. Derived partly from wine residue, the company is quite literally turning wine into fuel.

    On the renewable energy front, the company continues to lead the oil majors with its solar investments (see “Integrated Ingenuity,” Second Quarter 2021 ESG Review, p. 16).