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Iraq’s Oil Minister Thamir al-Ghadhban tells MEES that he is considering a proposal from a consortium to develop a petrochemicals plant utilizing ethane feedstock from the Ar-Ratawi field (see p7). “Our associated gas in the south is rich in ethane. We are in discussions and we don’t want to waste much time” says the minister. Iraq has long eyed utilizing its ethane output to develop a petrochemicals sector, but the $19bn Nebras petrochemicals project that Shell signed up to in 2015 has so far failed to materialize ( MEES, 23 January 2015 ). Mr Ghadhban says Nebras “is moving forward. It was delayed, but we are now progressing.” (CONTINUED - 105 WORDS)