raqi PM Mohammed al-Sudani has approved a proposal to build a “permanent platform” to import LNG at the under-construction Grand Fao Port in Basra. The decision is part of Baghdad’s efforts to diversify its energy imports away from its overwhelming dependence on unreliable and politically-problematic Iranian gas and power supplies (MEES, 19 January). According to a 24 January Oil Ministry press release, Iraq is to hire an advisor to “supervise the technical and commercial aspects of the project.”

In early 2022, Iraq began discussions with Qatar to import 1.5mn t/y of LNG while studying a proposal from US firm Excelerate Energy to supply the country with an FSRU (MEES, 25 February 2022). Building an onshore import facility is both cost-intensive and impractical given Iraq’s tiny Gulf coastline, making the FSRU option the more viable of the two given the limited volumes proposed. Despite its unreliability, pipeline gas from Iran is still considerably cheaper than LNG. (CONTINUED - 153 WORDS)