“In Iraq, subject to the security situation, we are keen to make progress,” says Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive officer at Shell.

Shell is one of six groups expected to take part in technical service agreements aimed at boosting Baghdad’s current oil production of around 2.5 million barrels-a-day (b/d) by up to 500,000 b/d in the next 12 months.

Earlier this month, Iraq formally requested that oil majors complete the work over just 12 months, compared with the initial 2-year timeframe, which has delayed the final signing of deals (MEED 11:7:08).

“Nothing is signed yet, as many of the details take time to work out, but we are in active negotiations. We hope that we can sign something before not too long, but I admit that I have said that three weeks ago, and in the meantime we haven’t signed anything,” says van der Veer .

He adds that negotiations with Iraq’s South Company to form a joint venture for the development of associated gas in the southern region are progressing.

“We have entrepreneurial ideas of how we can co-operate with the Iraqis on gas,” he says.