Rosneft is in advanced talks on financing a regional gas pipeline in Iraqi Kurdistan, as the Russian state-owned oil giant looks to increase its presence in the region, according to the Financial Times.
Rosneft has become an important player in the autonomous region, loaning cash to the Kurdistan government in exchange for future oil deliveries, signing agreements to help expand its energy infrastructure and opening talks on potential drilling.
The company said on Monday that it is negotiating with the Kurdistan Regional Government on a project to build a gas pipeline system “in an accelerated mode.”
“The parties negotiated the possibility of the Company’s participation in the project on financing the construction of the Iraqi Kurdistan gas pipeline infrastructure.
It is expected that a separate agreement on this project will be signed before the end of the year,” Rosneft said in a statement. “The project involves the commissioning of the pipeline and the first gas supplies to domestic consumers in 2019, and starting in 2020, the beginning of gas exports.”
The pipeline would provide natural gas to power plants and factories in the region and also exports to Turkey and Europe, the Russian company said, adding that the assumed throughput capacity would ensure 30bn cubic metres of exports a year, in addition to domestic supplies.
The negotiations come just ahead of Kurdistan’s independence referendum, which is scheduled for September 25.