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Iraq needs to import Iran’s natural gas: Minister

Iraq needs to import Iran’s natural gas: Minister

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s Electricity Minister Qasim al-Fahadawi says his country will need Iran’s natural gas over the next seven years to operate its power stations as the Arab country’s domestically produced natural gas will not suffice.

According to a Farsi report by Mehr News Agency, the Iraqi official said new power plants will soon be ready to give service, so the country will need to import natural gas.

He said Iraq’s natural gas produced in the country’s southern fields in Basra province will not be enough to run power stations.

Of course, he said, Iraq’s dependence on natural gas imports will decrease as production gets underway in several gas fields.

Last month, Iran began exporting natural gas to neighbouring Iraq. The project had been delayed for four years due to security challenges caused by the civil war in Iraq. Officials say Iran has started by pumping seven million cubic metres per day, and that the figure is to reach 35 million cubic metres per day in the future.

Iran will supply natural gas to Iraq under two contracts. According to one agreement, natural gas will be pumped to the Baghdad power station, and another deal provides for natural gas exports to Basra. The Islamic Republic is currently exporting electricity to its energy-hungry neighbour.

Earlier this month, Iran concluded its first petroleum contract with the French energy giant Total. It is Iran’s first important contract with major countries since sanctions on Iran were lifted. Under the deal, Total will take part in the development of phase 11 of Iran’s South Pars Gas Field. Phase 11 has a capacity of producing two billion cubic metres of natural gas per day, which is equal to 400,000 thousand barrels of crude oil per day together with gaseous condensates. Total announced on July 3 that the natural gas produced from that phase will start to be used to meet Iran’s domestic needs as of 2021.