A $27-billion oil deal between France’s TotalEnergies and OPEC producer Iraq has failed to materialise because of the French firm’s refusal of terms for partnership with the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC), the local press reported on Friday. 

The new Iraqi government in 2021 also failed to “detail the legal status of INOC” which indicated that the company was not totally legalised, they said. 

“Total refused to complete the contract with Iraq after it rejected terms for partnership with INOC,” Aliqtisad News and other Iraqi publications reported, quoting Iraq Deputy Bassim Khashan. 

In a brief post on the social media, Khashan added:”This is because the new government and the parliament have not yet outlined the legal status of the INOC in full…Total interpreted it as an indication that INOC has yet to be legalised.” 

Khashan said the government’s failure to take a clear decision on INOC “prevented other major deals” which were due to be finalised by the Oil Ministry. 

In February, it was reported that the $27 billion contract that Baghdad hoped would reverse the exit of oil majors from Iraq, has stalled amid disputes over terms and risks being scrapped by the country’s new government. 

Iraq has struggled to attract major fresh investments into its energy industry since signing a flurry of post US-invasion deals over a decade ago. 

TotalEnergies agreed last year to invest in four oil, gas and renewables projects in the southern Basra region over 25 years.  

Last week, the company announced that it has completed the divestment of its 18 percent interest in the onshore Sarsang oil field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, to ShaMaran Petroleum Corp for a firm consideration of $155 million.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)