An controversial energy deal has been announced between the Iraqi Ministry and Stroytransgaz- a Russian construction and engineering company that specializes in oil and gas exploration--and will focus the bulk of its efforts in the desert region in the Anbar province in western Iraq where it is believed untapped oil and gas exists.
Minister of Oil, Thamer al-Ghadhban stated, “The exploration bloc is one of the promising sites and studies and preliminary information point to the existence of oil reserves ranging between the equivalent of two to four billion barrels, of which gas comprises 60 to 70%.” Asim Jihad, spokesperson for the Iraq Oil Ministry added the total area is 12,000 square kilometers and the project has three key stages: exploration, development and ultimately, production. A residential compound is slated to get constructed along with essential infrastructure services that will bring the region an approximate $100 million in investment. The contract is set to be ratified by the Prime Minister’s Council of Ministers. The U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned the Russian company in 2014 as a response to Russia’s military activity in Ukraine.