According to analysts at Rystad Energy, gas development projects in Iraq are soon to take priority over oil projects with the country targeting a 300% rise in gas production from 1 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) to 3 bcfd by 2022.
With Iraq struggling to meet domestic gas demand and relying heavily on imports to support its power grid, much of the gas produced in the country has been flared due to a lack of investment and infrastructure. However with a significant improvement in regional security, allied with an improved economic and investment climate in the Kurdistan region, investment in the country's gas sector from international oil and gas companies has become much more attractive.
With a number of new gas projects underway throughout the country, Iraq's ambitious gas development plan will be crucial to support its domestic energy demand, with previous shortages causing unrest and widespread protests across the country. In addition, it will reduce a reliance on Iranian gas imports with the U.S. only issuing a temporary waiver on sanctions for Iraq's imports.
Furthermore it will deliver a significant boost to the country's economy which is rebuilding from the damage caused by the recent war with Islamic State and may allow the country to become an international exporter of gas for the first time, supporting a much needed diversification of the economy for OPEC's second largest producer.
Source: Rystad Energy