Iran, Iraq to develop two oilfields
First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri said Sunday Iran’s strategy is to achieve an annual trade volume of $20 billion with Iraq by 2021.
Speaking at a joint meeting of Iranian, Iraqi businessmen at the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Jahangiri said realizing this goal has a significant role in developing relations and promoting economic indicators of the two countries.
He stated that in order to achieve the $20-billion target, the economic and commercial chambers of the two countries should identify and remove all barriers especially in their private sectors.
"The economic cooperation between Iran and Iraq has been growing in recent years,” Jahangiri said, adding that total trading volume between the two neighbors has hit $12 billion.
He pointed to the “unjust and cruel pressure of the United States” to restrict the relations between the Iranian and Iraqi governments, saying such measures run contrary to the interests of the two neighbors that have decided to forge friendly ties in a volatile region.
US President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran’s energy exports in November, citing its nuclear program and activities in the Middle East, but has granted waivers to several buyers to meet consumer energy needs.
Development of shared oilfields
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Iran and Iraq have come to an agreement about developing two oilfields on their mutual border.
The agreement is for the development of the Naft Shahr and Khorramshahr oilfields, Zanganeh said, according to a report on Iran’s Oil Ministry website.
The report gave no details on what the agreement involved, how much investment would be made, or what timescale was envisaged for the project.
The energy industries in the two countries already have close links and Iraq relies heavily on Iranian gas to feed its power stations.
Iraq imports roughly 1.5 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day from Iran via pipelines in the south and east of the country. Zanganeh noted Iraq owes Iran approximately $1 billion for gas supplied in the past.
“Given the lack of development in the petrochemicals and gas industries in Iraq, there is a bright perspective for cooperation between the two countries,” Zanganeh said, without giving any further details.
Separately, the Managing Director of the South Pars Gas Complex Hadi Hashemzadeh Farhang said production of gas condensate at South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, increased by nine million barrels between March 2018 and March 2019 when compared with a year before.
Reuters contributed to this report.