Russia, Iraq Weigh Petrochemical Contracts

Russia and Iraq are considering contract drafts on cooperation in the petrochemical industry, projected to be worth some $5 billion, Iraqi Deputy Industry and Minerals Minister Ahmed Rashid announced in remarks to an international roundtable in Moscow, entitled Russia-Iraq Economic Cooperation. The implementation of the projects in question appears to hinge on an end to economic sanctions against Iraq. "If the blockade is lifted, the projects Russian companies are interested in would be estimated higher," the Iraqi official stressed. Iraqi Deputy Oil Minister Hussein Salman al-Hadisi said the Iraqi government is willing to give priority to Russian companies in cooperation in the oil and gas sector. This preference may prove to be a lucrative chance for Russian companies to implement projects without submitting tenders first. "Iraq is second to Saudi Arabia only in terms of oil deposits. In the future, Iraqi oil is going to power most of the growth in oil extraction worldwide," al-Hadisi projected. Russia is also considering the option of entering a number of projects to revamp and refit Iraq's coal-fired power plants.

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