Mar 14 2013
By Shaymaa Adel
Azzaman, March 14, 2013
In a few months, millions of cubic meters of Iranian natural gas will be flowing to Iraq to feed its power stations and earning Tehran a massive sum of nearly $16 billion a year.
The deal to import natural gas from Iran has raised eye-brows about government claims of the country’s ‘success story’ of developing its oil and gas riches.
Iran has already established an extensive pipeline network domestically which reaches its international borders with neighboring states among them Iraq.
The Iranians are now working to have the network extended inside Iraq and Pakistan. The Iraqi part is expected to carry up to 20 million cubic meters of gas a day and should be operational in three months.
Iraqi legislators on the parliament’s influential energy commission are under pressure to explain why the country is still so reliant on external sources to meet its energy needs at a time it boasts holding the world’s second largest proven reserves of oil.
Suzan Aklawi, a commission’s member, has been trying to calm fears of the country’s almost total reliance on natural gas imports from Iran.
She said the Iraq had a deal with the international major Royal Dutch Shell to develop the its gas riches and make it self-sufficient by the end of 2017.
She said the contract to import Iranian natural gas was signed on the commission’s advice due to increasing demand and shortages.
“The construction of pipelines to ferry Iranian natural gas to Iraq is a temporary solution,” she said.
Aklawi said the pipeline network will be used to feed Iraqi power stations and later on will turn Iraq into a transit point for exporting Iranian natural gas to the neighboring states such as Syria and Jordan and terminals on the Mediterranean Sea.
“We believe this a good step and I can assure you there are political implications behind it,” she added.
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