Iraq’s Ministry of Oil is close to signing a $400mn deal with BP and Eni that would see the two foreign majors replace two offshore pipelines. Under the proposed deal, BP would finance the work whilst Eni would handle the procurement, engineering and construction – the aim being to replace the non-operational Khor al-Amaya pipeline and an additional one operating well below installed capacity due to corrosion. The deal, set out in an 8 August Reuters report, appears to comprise two separate agreements between Baghdad and the firms.

The report immediately drew Baghdad’s ire with the oil ministry taking issue with Reuters’ implication that the BP-Eni deal had somehow cast doubt on ongoing negotiations between Iraq, ExxonMobil and CNPC over the massive $53bn Southern Iraq Integrated Project (SIIP) – a crucial megaproject that would fundamentally overhaul the country’s tattered southern export infrastructure (MEES, 10 May). (CONTINUED - 849 WORDS)