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Article Discussing Oil and Gas in Iraq By the Minister of Oil Mr. Adil Abd Al Mahdi

Gas is the less environmentally harmful traditional source of energy because of the potentials that it can provide as a cheap & easy source for many industries

   We have gas reserves estimated with 131 TCF … and Iraq is the 11th of 12 internationally in the gas reserves. 

   We also can be the 5th if we could complete the explorations, this issue is an important one for the future of the country because the gas wealth is currently having an elevating significance.

   Gas is the less environmentally harmful traditional source of energy because of the potentials that it can provide as a cheap & easy source for many industries such as the petrochemicals and fertilizers industry.

   Gas can be obtained from two main sources which are the associated gas with oil and the free gas in the non-oil fields which forms 25% of the gas reserve which is 32 TCF. While 75 % of it is an associated gas which is estimated with 98.3 TCF which is normally burned if it have not been processed “which is a pricey process”. This reason causes a big loose of billions of dollars each year in addition to the environmental and economic damage, in addition to the both internal and external damage.

   The companies did not commit to extract the associated gas during the first licensing rounds which included the Rumaila, Zubair, West Qurna1 and Maysan fields. The second licensing rounds inserted sections that commit the contractors to extract the gas and the third licensing round was made especially for the free fields such as Akkas, Mansouriya and Seeba. These developments provided more gas in-spite of the bad security situation which caused to hinder the projects. And it is worthy to mention that the amount of the associated gas investment reached 50% of the production which is 3000 MSCF for each day and the power stations which are operated with the associated gas & the dry gas are 25  

   The Basra Gas Company was established in 2012 in order to fill the shortage and the South Oil Company (Basra) has 51% of it while Shell & Mitsubishi has the other 49%. The company could achieve a good progress in-spite of the bad economic and financial situation because of the oil prices drop and the fluctuations of the electric power. The company is now preparing itself to export the surplus of the local made natural gasoline and the liquefied gas, which enters Iraq for the first time “increasingly & continually” to the club of the gas exporting countries.

   The free gas production elevated from 600 MSCF as maximum for the years 2013-2014 to 1100 MSCF as maximum during the last months. And the liquefied gas production elevated during the same period from 4300 ton/ day as maximum to 5000 ton/ day during the last months.

   The stoppage of Baiji refinery and the bad situation in the North Gas was a reason to lose 2000 million tons… the most important thing is that “despite of the hindrances” the average is increasing continually. The gas issue is currently one of the priorities which was a reason that made the World Bank to give Iraq a certificate for the good investment of gas “which was published recently in the media”. And it became a priority in the first chapters of the discussions with the countries and the companies especially in the use of the different & advanced technologies in order to extract the gas and transport it, in addition to the use of it directly after separating it from oil in order to operate the different kinds of generators and power stations which are close to the fields and made for this purpose.

   There is an increasing concern in two issues too… the first one is related with the use of gas to operate the vehicles in order to save the prices of gasoline & gasoil. While the second one is the use of the liquefied gas in the residential complexes which saves the kerosene, gasoil and electricity as well as the other derivatives for the domestic use for heating, lighting and even the cooling… honestly the work in these two fields is slow in spite of the efforts and there is a need to new dynamics different from the current ones. These dynamics can shift from weak and non-producing to other case that can provide dynamics & initiatives which can meet the ambitions of the Iraqi people.



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