(Photo credit: Lee Yiu Tung/Shutterstock)
On 11 October, the Director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Mohammad Reza Joulaei, met with senior delegates of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity to discuss Tehran’s plan to increase its gas imports to Baghdad.
Joulaei stressed that Iran’s relationship with Iraq is a “strategic relationship,” adding that the necessary operational checks have been carried out and there will be no obstacles in the transfer of gas.
The spokesman of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, Ahmed Musa says that Baghdad currently imports 20 million cubic meters of gas a day from Tehran, yet the arrangement still doesn’t meet Iraq’s needs, with many national power plants having a limited load and undergoing regular power outages.
The requirements for Iraq’s energy needs amount to 55 to 60 million cubic meters of gas.
Back in July, Iranian and Iraqi officials signed a long-term strategic electricity deal to provide Baghdad with sustainable energy.
Iran was already a crucial energy source to Iraq, which currently faces severe electricity shortages despite sitting atop the world’s fourth largest oil reserves.
Iran’s Energy Minister, Ali Akbar Mehrabian told Iraqi officials at the time that Iran’s self-sufficiency, specifically regarding their knowledge of power plant construction, are capable of constructing 1,950 megawatt power-plants.
Iran’s private sector also implemented the construction of 1,700 megawatts power plants in Iraq, the minister added.
A month prior, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji announced that the Islamic Republic had received $1.6 billion in payment from the Iraqi government for the import of natural gas.
Baghdad mostly uses the imported gas to feed its power grid and produce electricity amid high domestic demand.