Iraq will need sustained supplies of Iranian natural gas for the next seven years to operate its electricity-generating stations, Iraqi’s electricity minister said on Thursday.
That is because natural gas produced from the country’s fields in southern Basra province is not sufficient to maintain the generation of electricity, Qassem al-Fahdawi said in press statements quoted by Almasalah website.
Gas from Basra fields cannot be directed to power generators directly before bypassing a process of refining and insulation, according to the minister. “Over the past two years in particular, the ministry added a huge amount of that gas, and we hope it increases further,” said the minister. “New stations are entering into service soon, hence the country’s need for gas imports”.
The minister, however, noted that this need for gas could diminish after planned fields for the production of non-associated gas go into service, such as Siba, Mansouriya and Western Anbar.
Iran began exporting gas to Iraq in June after several years of delays. The export deal signed in 2013 was hampered by Iraq’s unstable security situation.
Exports started at nearly 7 million cubic meters per day and are meant to eventually reach 35 million cubic meters per day.
The deal involves two separate export contracts for supplying power stations in Baghdad and Basra.
In April, Iraq’s oil ministry said the country’s natural gas production would triple to 1700 million cubic feet daily by 2018 with more projects undertaken to curb gas burning.