Iraq’s Ministry of Oil and Total are progressing towards finalizing a huge $7bn agreement which would transform the French major from a relatively minor player in the country’s energy sector to being key to Iraq’s expansion and diversification plans.

The partners signed a preliminary “principles agreement” on what Oil Minister Ihsaan Ismaael labeled four “giant projects” this week. The list includes key projects Iraq has been seeking to award for years, as well as more recent ambitions. Both parties appear confident a deal is within reach, but Iraq has appeared on the brink of major energy infrastructure deals before without quite being able to get over the finish line. (CONTINUED - 2084 WORDS)