Ministry: Iraq, Jordan may link over future gas imports

Oil&Gas Materials 23 February 2012 12:38 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 23 / Trend A. Taghiyeva /

Iraqi gas may be imported to Jordan in the long term, the Ministry of Energy and the Oil Ministry of these countries said.

Iraq may become a major gas exporter to Jordan. However this cooperation will not likely before 2015 when the country begins exporting natural gas, the official representative at the Iraqi Oil Ministry Asym Jihad told Trend today.

"Iraq plans to begin supplying no earlier 2015-2017," he said. "At this stage, the country does not extract gas at the volumes required for export."

Earlier, Jordanian Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh told media that he intends to visit Iraq for talks on the supply of Iraqi natural gas to Jordan to reduce imports from Egypt.

Awn Khasawneh stressed that Jordan is looking for ways to reduce its dependency on Egyptian gas. Shortfall delivery each year causes enormous damage to the country's economy.

Mr Jihad said that after the export of Iraqi gas is launched, the country will primarily focus on neighbouring countries as the cost of supplies to these countries will be much less. "Iraq is also going to take part in regional projects," he added.

Earlier, Mr Jihad told Trend that the Iraqi Oil Ministry has prepared an action plan to increase the country's natural gas production.

At the first stage, the country will increase production from the three existing oil fields. The second stage involves the use of associated gas from oil fields. Gas reserves are estimated at 20 million cubic metres per day (700 million cubic feet).

Another way of increasing gas production in Iraq is the exploration of new fields and a tender was announced to foreign companies in the country.According to BP, the proven gas reserves in Iraq were 3.17 trillion cubic metres as of early 2011.

Iraq extracts natural gas in three major fields: Akkaz in the area of Anbar, Ciba - in the city of Basra, and Mansouri - the Deyali area.

A spokesperson for the Jordanian Ministry of Energy Mahmoud Aleiss said that besides Iraq, Jordan is also negotiating with other countries to import gas.

"Jordan plans to increase gas supplies to the country from all possible sources," he told Trend.
He said that Jordan is also considering the import of Azerbaijani gas and negotiations are to be intensified. The entire infrastructure for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Jordan is almost ready and all that's required is further negotiations he said.

He added that at this stage, Jordan is in talks with Qatar to import liquefied natural gas and with Saudi Arabia for the supply of natural gas.

Regarding Iraq, the cooperation with Baghdad at this stage is only at the level of statements as the country is unable to make up the levels of Jordan's gas shortage.

"The development of energy cooperation with Iraq is very important for Amman and its implementation is possible in the future," he said.

Earlier he told Trend that Jordan plans to buy about 4.2 million cubic metres of gas per day (150 million cubic feet) from Azerbaijan as part of an agreement which is more than 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year.