Iraq Must Tap Potential of Natural Gas
From Gulf News
By Saadallah Al Fathi
Natural gas has been in relative decline in Iraq for a long time now. The highs of the 1980s when two large processing plants and associated pipelines were built were followed by years of wars and sanctions and almost lack of investment and minimum maintenance and rehabilitation. The situation intensified since 2003, where the focus was centred on upstream deals with international oil companies with little regard to the downstream sector.
In reading the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) ‘Iraq Energy Outlook’, one discovers the uphill battle to achieve a measure of success in utilising this vital resource and the limited time frame available to avoid further enormous losses.
The IEA estimates that the gas flared in June 2012 was 1043 million cubic meters (mcm) out of a production of 1988 mcm or about 52.5 per cent at a time when the power generation industry is using liquids in the form of fuel, crude oil and even imported gas oil. Most of the flared gas is in the south for the lack of proper maintenance and rehabilitation of the South Gas processing facilities and the unfinished national gas pipeline to Baghdad and further north.