Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi met with Iraq's deputy prime minister of energy affairs, Thamir Al Ghadhban, to talk about collaboration between the two entities.
According to a press release by Eni, the pair "discussed future opportunities and development investments that will further strengthen Eni’s relationship with the country," and Descalzi noted "potential synergies" surrounding energy projects in Iraq.
Eni has has a presence in Iraq since 2009 through its subsidiary Eni Iraq B.V., and with the ramp up of the Zubair Field Development Project (Eni 41.56%, Kogas 23.75%, BOC 29.69%, State Partner 5%) the company has become one of Iraq’s main operators in the oil sector. It operates 475,000 barrels of oil equivalent in the country per day.\
At Zubair, oil production has grown by over 100% since 2015 and a new 380 MW plant that will generate power for domestic consumption is in the final stages of construction.
Zubair is one field in the southern Iraq region of Basra, which is oil-rich but has seen protests in 2018 regarding a low standard of living and lack of access to basic necessities. In the meeting, Descalzi and Al Ghadhban discussed the progress of social projects that are currently underway in the Basra Governorate in the areas of healthcare, education, access to energy and clean drinking water.
This follows Eni's January 2019 regional exploration spree that saw the company sign exploration deals in three countries within a matter of days, including the acquisition of a 70% stake in two Abu Dhabi offshore concessions.