Iraqi Kurdistan Finally Moves To Develop Massive Gas Resources
Report Kurdistan Gas Resources
In tandem with Iraq’s reiterated target for crude oil production of 7 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2025, from the previous 5 mbpd, Baghdad has also stated that it will stop flaring gas by the same point (and to halt importing fuel from Iran by 2025 as well).
These moves would be in line with Iraq’s endorsement in May 2017 of the United Nations and World Bank ‘Zero Routine Flaring’ initiative aimed at ending this type of routine flaring by 2030 and with the commitments made by Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, during his recent visit to Washington to reduce Baghdad’s dependence on Tehran.
Since making the commitment to reducing gas flaring nearly three years ago, little of real significance has yet been achieved in the south of the country but there is some reason for optimism founded on economic necessity and on recent progress made in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
The gas sector across Iraq as a whole can be regarded as a lost opportunity of epic proportion, as the official estimates are that its proven reserves of conventional natural gas amount to 3.5 trillion cubic metres (Tcm) - or about 1.5 per cent of the world total, placing Iraq 13th among global reserve-holders – with around three-quarters of these proven reserves consisting of associated gas.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), though, estimates that ultimately recoverable resources will be considerably larger, at 8.0 Tcm, of which around 30 per cent is thought to be in the form of non-associated gas. Despite its commitment to reduce gas flaring, Iraq still ranks as the second worst offender for flaring associated gas in the world, after Russia, burning off around 18 billion cubic metres (Bcm) in 2019 alone (up from 16 Bcm around a year before).
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