Iran's Gas Delivery to Iraq Likely in August

 Iran's Gas Delivery to Iraq Likely in August Iran's Gas Delivery to Iraq Likely in August

The final touches are being given to plans to supply natural gas to Iraq at the border in August, a senior official said on Monday.

Azizollah Ramezani, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Gas Company, said the plan was readied following the recent visit by an Iranian delegation—comprising NIGC representatives and members of the Central Bank of Iran—to Iraq to fast-track gas exports to the Arab neighbor, ISNA reported on Monday.

"The meeting was aimed at hammering out the financial details of gas exports, including the method of payment by the Baghdad government."

Tehran and Baghdad signed a draft agreement in 2013 to supply Iranian gas to two Iraqi power plants. However, the two countries agreed to postpone exports due to security issues for the gas pipeline.

War-ravaged Iraq is grappling with a chronic shortage of electricity that has caused lengthy outages and mass protests against its government. The country needs Iranian gas to feed three of its power plants—Rumaila, Shatt al-Basra and al-Najibiyah—to partially offset the blackouts.

According to Ramezani, export is finally expected to take off in August despite the challenges. Moreover, as part of the deal, Iran will hold a training course for Iraqis on meter reading, issuing bills for customers and other operational aspects concerning gas supply and consumption.

  Import/Export Data

Iran exported 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas in the first four months of the current Iranian year that started on March 20, as imports reached a total of 1.9 bcm.

Ramezani said gas imports have declined compared to last year's corresponding period which stood at 2.5 billion cubic meters.

According to reports, Turkmenistan is currently the only source of Iran's gas imports. Iran imports natural gas largely to meet the demand of its northeastern regions in winter.

  Long-Term Ventures

Asked about NIGC's long-term ventures to boost gas export during the sixth five-year economic development plan (2016-21), he noted that plans call for exporting 80 bcm of natural gas, of which 60 bcm will be sold to Turkey, Oman, Pakistan and Iraq, in case the ongoing development plans come to fruition.

Ramezani noted that of 15 neighboring states, 10 are considered as potential customers for the gas. In addition, selling gas to India, China, Japan and Korea is on NIGC's agenda, which will be carried out as soon as Iran's main liquefied natural gas production project goes online.

Iran LNG is under development at Tombak Port, approximately 50 kilometers north of Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province. The project includes two LNG production lines, each with an output capacity of 5.4 million tons of LNG per year.

Cap: Iran has exported 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas during the last 4 months.