KUWAIT CITY (Reuters) - Iraq and Kuwait have reached a preliminary agreement on a price for gas exports, Kuwaiti oil minister Issam Al-Marzouq told a local newspaper on Sunday, clearing the way to a deal for a pipeline and petrochemical project.
Kuwait is waiting for the Iraqi government’s final approval this week, Marzouq told al-Siyasa, without stating the price.
Iraq would agree to export 50 million cubic feet (mcf) of gas per day for ten years, increasing to 200 mcf per day during that time, he said.
The exports, to come from Iraq’s Rumaila field, would pay off Baghdad’s final $4.6 billion (3.45 billion pounds) in war reparations owed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
Marzouq announced the proposal last month, but talks between the two countries have faltered since then over price and the location of the petrochemical plant.
Iraq hired Japan’s Toyo Engineering (6330.T) to help build the project.
Iraq used to supply Kuwait with gas from Rumaila. Volumes reached as much as 400 mcf per day but stopped shortly after the 1990 invasion.
In his interview, Marzouq also expressed optimism that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and others would agree to extend their agreement limiting crude production.
“There is almost agreement to extend it, but the duration is still under study,” he said.
OPEC meets on Nov. 30 in Vienna to decide whether to extend global output cuts beyond March.
Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy, Writing by Katie Paul; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle