When Iraq agreed a ground-breaking oil prepayment deal with Chinese state company Zhenhua in December (MEES, 11 December 2020) it was meant to provide the embattled government with a swift $2bn cash injection. However, entering the second half of February the deal has yet to be signed off on and a done-deal is no certainty.

State marketer Somo last November tendered 240mn barrels over a five-year period from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2025. As part of this, bidders had to commit to lifting 48mn barrels between 1 July 2021 and 30 July 2022 with prepayment due within 30 days of signing the contract. Crucially, Somo is allowing the buyer to resell this 48mn barrel allocation (MEES, 27 November 2020). (CONTINUED - 728 WORDS)