Last Wednesday, August 19, a delegation of Iraqi officials visited Washington, D.C. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette met with them and attended a bilateral meeting with Iraqi Minister of Oil Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail and Iraqi Minister of Electricity Majid Mahdi Hantoush. They discussed the growing Iraq-U.S. bilateral energy partnership. Secretary Brouillette made sure to stress the importance of rapidly gaining energy independence from Iran. To further that goal, the Ministers agreed to reestablish the U.S.-Iraq Energy Joint Coordinating Committee. A joint statement on the U.S-Iraq strategic dialogue can be read in full here.
U.S. Investment in Iraq
Later, Secretary Brouillette attended a roundtable with the Iraqi Prime Minister and American private sector senior executives. They discussed future opportunities for American investments in Iraq. After the roundtable, Secretary Brouillette and the Iraqi Prime Minister observed five American firms and the Iraqi Ministers of Oil and Electricity sign agreements. The agreements are worth as much as $8 billion.
- Honeywell and the Ministry of Oil agreed to advance the development of the Ar Ratawi gas project.
- GE and the Ministry of Electricity committed to three agreements to increase reliable access to electricity in Iraq.
- Stellar Energy and the Ministry of Electricity concluded a front-end engineering and design agreement.
- Baker Hughes and the Ministry of Oil agreed to further collaborate on flare gas-to-power opportunities and deploy U.S. oil field services and equipment.
- Chevron and the Iraqi Ministry of Oil outlined a framework for entering into exclusive negotiating on an exploration, development, and production contract in the Dhi Qar Province.
Afterward, Secretary Brouillette issued a statement:
As two of the top oil producers in the world, the United States and Iraq share an appreciation for how energy shapes our economies and can strengthen our respective security,” said Secretary Brouillette. “That is why I was thrilled to join Prime Minster Kadhimi, Minister Ismael, and Minister Hantoush today for an event featuring this prestigious Iraqi delegation and our great American energy companies. Together, we laid the groundwork for commercial partnerships worth up to $8 billion. These deals are key to Iraq’s energy future, and I am confident that the same companies that have empowered the United States to become energy independent will deploy their deep expertise to help Iraq achieve its full potential in the energy sector.
Iraqi Delegation Criticised
One day after these meetings, armed factions in Iraq threatened to target U.S. interests there. They issued a statement calling themselves the “Resistance Factions.” In their statement, they criticized the U.S. meetings because the removal of U.S. troops was not on the talks’ agenda.