In an increasingly predictable development, Iran on 12 January reduced natural gas pipeline flows to Iraq as a cold snap sent its own demand soaring (MEES, 19 January). Flows via a pipeline feeding Baghdad and central Iraq were completely halted while those through a second one to the south dwindled to just 10mn m3/d (350mn cfd) according to a 14 January statement by Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity.

The flows are just a fifth of the 50mn m3/d (1.76bn cfd) Bagdad had contracted Tehran to supply for this winter, and the ministry says the drop in gas supplies resulted in a loss of more than 4GW power generation. Iraqis are also experiencing cold temperatures – albeit less so than in Iran – and as households turn up the electric heating, the reduced power generation has caused blackouts. (CONTINUED - 1096 WORDS)