Iraq expects to gross $55 bln in China oil deal

BAGHDAD, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Iraq expects to gross $55 billion in a new 20-year oil deal it recently renegotiated with China, the government said on Wednesday.
"Iraqi gross revenues obtained in the contract will be $55 billion, equal to 87 percent of total revenues of $63 billion," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.

The estimate of Iraq's take in the $3 billion service contract for the Ahdab oil and gas field south of Baghdad is based on projected oil prices of $100 a barrel.
The Iraqi government recently renegotiated the terms of the deal with the Chinese National Petroleum Company (CNPC), which was originally signed in 1997, marking Iraq's first major oil deal with a foreign firm since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

The government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki formally approved the renegotiated contract this week, and said it now hopes Chinese officials will sign the renegotiated contract in Baghdad later this month.

Dabbagh said the deal, which is also to include gas extraction and processing, would have an investment value of $3 billion and an operating cost of $4 per barrel.

"The contract aims to produce from the beginning of the fourth year ... an average of 25,000 barrels per day (bpd)," Dabbagh said, detailing decisions from a recent cabinet meeting.

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