Iraq has signed a contract with Ukraine’s Ukrezemresurs company for the development of the Akkas gas field that was abandoned by a South Korean firm eight years ago.

The award of the project was quickly rejected by Parliament’s Oil and Gas Committee on the grounds that this company is weak and would only waste Iraq’s funds and resources.

Iraqi Oil Minister Hayan Abdel Ghani said after signing the deal on Wednesday the project would add 100 million cubic feet per day (mcf/d) in phase 1 and 400 mcf/d when phase 2 is completed after four years.

“The Oil Ministry replaced the Korean Company with this Ukrainian firm instead of contracting with a serious global company,” said Ali Mashkour, a Committee member.

“This contract represents a massive waste of Iraq’s funds and oil wealth…it also demonstrates that Iraq has again failed to choose strong and serious firms to work inside its most important economic sectors.”

Mashkour, quoted by the Iraqi News agency, said the Committee would work to challenge this contract on the grounds the Ukrainian firm is “weak.”

Akkas field in the Western Al-Anbar province has sizable gas deposits although it was abandoned by South Korea’s state-owned Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas) after it was captured by ISIS militias during the war eight years ago.

Discovered in 1992, Akkas field contains around 5.6 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas deposits, according to Iraqi estimates.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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