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Iran to raise gas exports to Iraq despite US opposition

Tehran, Iran expo headquarters - Iran is about to raise gas exports to neighboring Iraq to 35 million cubic meters a day this year, head of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hassan Montazer Torbati said on Wednesday.

“Last year we exported gas to Turkey, Baghdad and Basra with an average of over 40 million cubic meters a day, and this year, gas exports to Iraq will reach more than 35 million cubic meters per day,” he told a news conference in Tehran.

Torbati also said Iran’s gas refinery and transmission capacity will reach more than a billion cubic meters a day by the end of the current Iranian year on February 20, 2020.

“We will continue to focus on investing in South Pars and plan to increase gas production by 60 million cubic meters before the coming winter,” Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh said on the sidelines of an oil industry show in Tehran.

Iran will also bring online 18 new petrochemical plants in the current and next Persian years, raising its total capacity to 50 million tonnes which will increase the country’s exports to $36 billion a year, he added.

Iran is currently increasing gas exports to a number of countries including Turkey, Iraq, Armenia and Azerbaijan, officials say. 

Torbati said in March Turkey, which depends on gas-fired plants for nearly 40 percent of its electricity, had requested to purchase more natural gas from Iran.

Turkey is currently a key importer of Iranian natural gas, with 11 billion cubic meters shifted along the Tabriz-Ankara pipeline annually.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will continue to buy natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions chiefly targeting the Islamic Republic’s energy sector.

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