As Iraq seeks to ease its crippling gas shortages (MEES, 30 April), Oil Minister Ihsan Ismaael has been throwing around numerous potential developments. In a 29 April meeting with his Syrian counterpart Bassam Tomeh in Baghdad he came out with the most far-fetched option yet – importing Egyptian gas via Syria.

Egypt does have a gas surplus, but it typically opts to export via its two LNG export terminals rather than through the Arab Gas Pipeline (AGP) which connects to Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. In addition, rapid decline rates at Egypt’s key offshore fields (MEES, 30 April) and growing domestic demand mean most forecasts expect this surplus not to last beyond the next few years. Meanwhile, substantial sections of the ‘Arab Gas Pipeline’ in northern Jordan have been repurposed (and reversed) to handle imports of Israeli gas. (CONTINUED - 250 WORDS)