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Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

In recent discussions led by Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, Ziyad Ali Fadel, plans are being finalized for the transfer of gas from Turkmenistan to Iraq through Iran. According to reports from the Iraqi News Agency (INA), negotiations are progressing, with the potential for Iraq to commence receiving Turkmen gas as early as the upcoming summer.

The groundwork for this initiative was laid in November 2023, when officials from Turkmenistan and Iraq inked a protocol outlining the primary commercial terms of the arrangement. The agreement sets forth a five-year timeframe for the transit of Turkmen gas through Iran to Iraq, pending mutual consent from all involved parties.

Despite Iraq’s completion of the necessary prerequisites for gas importation from Turkmenistan as of January 2024, the planned delivery timeline faces a delay owing to ongoing negotiations with Iran. This delay stems from the requisite establishment of a comprehensive framework governing the transit of gas through Iranian territory.

Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs disclosed in October its intention to sell 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to Iraq via a swap mechanism facilitated by Iran. This proposal aligns with Iraq’s pursuit of a five-year agreement, though specifics regarding the swap arrangements remain undisclosed.

Notably, Turkmenistan boasts a robust pipeline network linking it to Iran, which, in turn, shares a border with Iraq. While Iraq currently relies on gas imports from Iran to satisfy approximately one-third of its energy demands, the envisioned gas transfer from Turkmenistan would augment the nation’s energy portfolio.

Earlier initiatives, such as the memorandum of understanding signed between Iraq and Turkmenistan in October, underscore Iraq’s commitment to diversifying its energy sources. However, the execution of such agreements necessitates further deliberation on the logistical intricacies of transporting gas through Iran’s pipeline network to reach Iraq’s power plants.

Minister Fadel previously affirmed Iraq’s intention to receive Turkmen gas through Iran’s pipeline infrastructure, emphasizing the pivotal role this collaboration would play in sustaining Iraq’s power generation capabilities. As negotiations progress, stakeholders are keenly monitoring developments to gauge the potential impact on Iraq’s energy landscape.

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