Iraq explores Qatari gas as alternative to Iranian for power generation

Iraq explores Qatari gas as alternative to Iranian for power generation

Shafaq News / Economic expert and academic Nabil al-Marsoumi asserted on Saturday that importing Qatari gas for Iraq's power stations holds greater promise than any other choice, particularly in light of Iran's unsettled debts for the same resource.

Al-Marsoumi, in a post on his Facebook page, highlighted that "Iraq is actively exploring various avenues to diversify its sources of liquefied gas, aiming to reduce dependence on Iranian gas. Iraq's financial challenges have hindered the settlement of dues to Tehran, leading to instances where Iran curtailed gas exports to Iraq by 40% due to Baghdad's unresolved debt, which Iran claims totals 11 billion dollars."

He elaborated, "Iranian gas is supplied through two routes: the first is via the gas pipeline to the central region (Khana oil field - Baghdad), while the second is the southern gas pipeline (Basra - Abadan)."

Al-Marsoumi further discussed that "selecting an alternative to Iranian gas necessitates a comprehensive technical and economic feasibility evaluation of the pricing dynamics governing gas supply to Iraq. The country has invested more than 800 million dollars in establishing these two pipelines for Iranian gas. Moreover, ensuring secure and stable gas imports is also a consideration."

The economic expert emphasized that "a viable option for Iraq is to turn to Qatari gas to power and run its stations. This can be achieved by establishing a gas reception facility at Umm Qasr Port in Basra. Plans are also being explored to develop a reception system within the port, as we currently lack a pivotal station to receive gas via maritime transport. This is especially pertinent considering ongoing technical assessments of the system's cost."

Al-Marsoumi speculated on the feasibility of "constructing a platform at Umm Qasr Port to receive Qatari gas, utilizing platforms installed there. This would involve extending pipelines from the platform to Iraq's gas network and, subsequently, to the power stations."

He highlighted that "the distance between Iraq's Umm Qasr Port in Basra and Hamad International Port is approximately 650 km. The estimated travel time for this journey is around 48 hours. Feasibility exists in laying pipelines to transport gas from Qatar across the sea through Iraq to Turkey, with the potential for onward export to Europe. This aligns with the envisioned developmental route."

Al-Marsoumi concluded his post, stating, "Due to the considerable distance of 1,559 km between Iraq and Turkmenistan, transporting gas from there would be the most cost-intensive alternative, encompassing both pipeline construction and gas import expenditures."

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