Iraq’s long delayed gas plans are finally taking form. Sales gas volumes have doubled in the last three years (see chart 1) thanks largely to the Shell-led Basrah Gas Company (BGC), and its announcement last week that it took FID to add another 400mn cfd to its gas processing capacity further is a good sign of things to come (MEES, 15 February).

But BGC’s progress – which will see sales gas output capacity grow by 40% to 1.4bn cfd by end-2021 – also highlights how far away the finish line remains, as well as the achingly slow pace of progress. At more than twice current 1.44bn cfd sales gas output, Baghdad’s target of hitting its overall end-2021 sales gas goal of 3bn cfd increasingly looks impossible. Speaking to MEES in Baghdad last week, deputy oil minister Hamid Younis Salih said the ministry still intends to end gas flaring by 2021. Mr Salih was in charge of gas, at the time of last week’s interview but was subsequently moved to refining in a ministry shakeup (MEES, 22 February). (CONTINUED - 1204 WORDS)