Delays and ongoing challenges to the formation of the $17.2bn Shell-led Basra Gas Company (BGC) are threatening vital incremental gas supply to new Iraqi power stations. Iraqi Oil Minister, ‘Abd al-Karim Laibi on 13 February called in foreign operators of Basra province oil fields, whose associated gas output is to supply BGC, in a bid to avert the political fall-out from another summer of 55°C temperatures with serious electricity outages.

Mr Laibi is targeting southern sales gas output of 500mn cfd in 2013, MEES understands. Last year’s target of 450mn cfd contrasted with actual 2012 southern raw gas supply to processing plants of around 400mn cfd, giving sales gas output of about 320mn cfd. Some of this new gas has to come on stream soon to feed new power stations around Baghdad and Hilla. (CONTINUED - 1192 WORDS)