Iraq dangles energy deals ahead of Kadhimi-Trump meeting

Chevron would negotiate a joint venture with Iraqi state companies for exploration rights in southern Iraq — a deal that could set a positive tone during a state visit to Washington.
Iraq dangles energy deals ahead of Kadhimi-Trump meeting
Chevron executive Kevin Kveton (sitting, left) and then-Basra Oil Company Director General Ihsan Ismaael, now Iraq's Oil Minister (sitting, right) sign copies of a Letter of Cooperation in Basra on June 6, 2018. (ALI AL-AQILY/Iraq Oil Report)

Iraq is raising the enticing prospect of major energy projects with U.S. companies – including a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chevron for a potential oil exploration joint venture with two Iraqi state companies and negotiations with Honeywell for a gas processing hub – as Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi begins a state visit to Washington, D.C.

While the basic outlines of the prospective deals have only been vaguely defined, and there is no guarantee the negotiations will lead to binding contracts, Kadhimi's willingness to open dialogues with American companies could help set a positive tone for a meeting Thursday with U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration will decide next month whether to extend economically critical sanctions waivers for Iraq.

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