The Shell-led Basra Gas Company is currently producing 950mn cfd of sales gas and will hit 1bn cfd during the current quarter, Iraq’s oil ministry said in a 31 December statement. Total Iraqi output stands at 3bn cfd, but 55% of this is lost to flaring – a glaring inefficiency that looks even worse in the light of the country’s perennial powergen shortfalls (MEES, 28 September 2018). Basra Gas is reducing flaring by capturing associated gas from Zubair, West Qurna-1, Rumaila and Umm Qasr – targeting 1.4bn cfd by 2021 and eventually 2bn cfd peak production.

Baghdad certainly needs the gas: Iraq crucially imports some 500mn cfd from Iran along with 1GW of electricity, and though the US extended Iraq’s import exemption waiver by 90 days last month, it is unclear whether Washington will renew the exemption when it expires in March. Iraq could be in for another turbulent summer (MEES, 20 July 2018). (CONTINUED - 147 WORDS)