Albeit challenging, gas could help Iraq, Kurdistan meet energy needs: officials
Shafaq News/ Iraq and Kurdistan together are only able to produce two bcf of gas, which is not enough to meet the demand for 24-hour electricity in the region, according to Ahmed Mufti, the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources for the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Speaking at the 7th Sulaimania forum at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani, Mufti emphasized the need for more gas production in order to meet the energy needs of Iraq and Kurdistan. "24-hour electricity is a basic human right," he said.
Mufti pointed out that Iraq has the potential to produce gas from free gas geological formations in Western Iraq, and that it would be beneficial to produce more gas for export. However, he also stressed the importance of serving the people and meeting their energy needs, saying, "we are public servants; we want to serve people."
Layth al-Shahir, the Deputy Minister of Oil for Distribution Affairs for the Government of Iraq, echoed Mufti's sentiments about the importance of energy in rebuilding Iraq and operating factories.
He said that the gas industry is more complicated than the oil industry but that there are potential reservoirs to produce gas in Western Iraq.
The current capacity for refining in Iraq is 800,000 barrels per day, said al-Shahir.
Both Mufti and al-Shahir acknowledged that Iraq and Kurdistan are facing serious challenges, but they expressed confidence that with adequate understanding and methods, these challenges can be overcome.