Iraq seeks to diversify its import sources of natural gas to run power stations and not rely on Iranian gas only, especially since Tehran is exposed to US sanctions, and in this regard Baghdad will offer Qatar, Russia and Kazakhstan to buy gas.
When asked about the possibility of Iraq being satisfied with the associated gas that comes out with the oil that has concluded several contracts with international companies to exploit it, Iraqi Oil Minister Ihssan Abdul-Jabbar explained, in an interview with the official Al-Iraqiya channel a few days ago, that even if Iraq invests all the gas associated with production, it cannot cover His need of gas to generate the required electricity in the country.
In his speech, the minister pointed out that the Ministry of Oil is keen to buy gas from Qatar because it is close to Iraq.
He stressed that Iraq wants to diversify its gas imports, as besides Qatar, it is possible to import from Russia and Kazakhstan.
He explained that 20 thousand megawatts are produced from gas stations, adding that using oil instead of gas in generating electricity is very costly, in addition to that it is not environmentally friendly.
End the crisis
The Ministry of Electricity welcomed the Ministry of Oil’s move to import gas from Qatar during the next stage, in order to increase the supply of electricity hours for citizens, as electricity cuts per day reach more than 12 hours, with 3 neighborhoods in Baghdad excepted from that, which are Al-Khadra, Yarmouk and Zayouna.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Al-Abadi, attributes the lack of electricity supply to the lack of gas to run the power stations, telling Al-Jazeera Net that the Oil Ministry’s import of gas from any country will be a big addition to operating the power stations.
He added that Iraq agreed with Iran to import 50 million standard cubic feet “muqmq” (a unit of measurement meaning one million standard cubic feet) during the winter period, and these quantities have not yet arrived, explaining that importing gas from Qatar or elsewhere with the maintenance of power stations will lead to operation The stopped stations, thus raising Iraq’s production to 33 thousand megawatts and eliminating the electricity crisis facing the country.
Iraq’s current production is 11,500 megawatts, according to the Ministry of Electricity website, because many power stations are not operating due to lack of gas.
Negotiations began between Iraq and Qatar to buy gas during the government of Haider al-Abadi, but they stopped for many reasons, including the government’s preference for increasing investment in gas associated with production and gas fields in Diyala and Anbar, but until now Iraq is still burning 1,214 “mugglers” daily, and international companies have not shown interest in investment In the gaseous fields.
The Iraqis are demanding an end to the electricity crisis that has been continuing since 2003, despite the country’s spending of more than $ 81 billion, according to the Parliamentary Committee formed to consider electricity contracts, in addition to stopping the associated gas burning.
On the other hand, energy researcher Jaafar Al-Barrak told Al-Jazeera Net that diversifying energy sources is part of energy security in Iraq, because the country will continue to need to import gas.
He added that Qatari gas is considered pure gas because it is processed in an excellent way compared to Iranian gas, explaining that the matter will remain in the media unless the infrastructure is available to link the Gulf and the Iraqi national gas system.
Specialists confirm that Iraq needs more than $ 7 billion to install stations to convert gas from liquefied to natural gas, while extending a pipeline network to all operating stations in the country, and this takes more than two years to complete.
Former Minister of Electricity and a member of the Parliamentary Energy Committee currently Karim Aftan told Al-Jazeera Net that Iraq is required to focus on treating associated gas in oil fields and extending pipelines to power stations, and this takes less time than laying pipes to neighboring countries, especially since the gas that Iraq is burning is more than Imported from Iran.
He added that Iraq possesses free gas fields discovered before the year 2003, and the pipelines of these fields above the surface of the earth, and it must complete their extraction.