UK/Dutch Shell Group is close to signing a heads of agreement with the Iraqi government for the construction of a world-scale ethane cracker in the south of the country.
Shell plans to build the Iraqi petrochemicals complex as a joint venture, currently called Nebras, according to Hans Nikamp, Shells vice-president and country chairman for Iraq.
The company, which is also developing the nearby Majnoon oil field and leads the Basra Gas Company consortium, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Industry & Minerals Ministry in May 2012 for a feasibility study focusing on a petrochemicals plant in the southern Basra province.
The next step is to sign a heads of agreement with the government, followed by pre-front-end engineering and design (pre-feed) and feed studies.
By 2020, the joint venture we envisage will need only 5 per cent of the 4 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d) of gas available, according to the Oil Ministry, says Nikamp, speaking at MEEDs Iraq Energy Projects conference in Dubai.
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