Baghdad sent 1.3bn cfd of domestically produced gas to its powerplants in 2018, enabled by a 6% year-on-year rise to 2.92bn cfd in wellhead output. Raw gas output topped 3.16bn cfd in December (MEES, 1 February), and crucially, the proportion of this which was wastefully flared off was reduced.

Nevertheless, Iraq still flares a massive 55% of the gas it produces, highlighting both the scale of the challenge and the potential for gains. Overall flared volumes hit another annual record in 2018 (see chart 1). But there are also grounds for praise. The country has doubled sales gas output since 2015 whilst decreasing the percentage flared from nearly 70% to 56%. (CONTINUED - 700 WORDS)