Iraqi sales gas output hit a new record of 924mn cfd in February (see chart) as the Shell-operated Basra Gas project raised output, while the major also cut flaring with the 10 February start-up of 70mn cfd of associated gas output at its Majnoun field (MEES, 11 March). This has enabled Iraq to begin exporting condensate shipments from Basra. The second cargo, 10,500 m³, left Iraq for Fujairah in the UAE on 30 March.

The slow progress in reducing flaring means Iraq is looking east to Iran for gas supplies, however, instability in Iraq is delaying the project, with the Iraqi section of the pipeline incomplete. Iranian officials maintain that exports will begin in the next few months, but considerable uncertainty remains. (CONTINUED - 134 WORDS)