First Published: 2017-06-22

Tehran begins exporting gas to Baghdad
Iran has started exporting gas through pipeline to Baghdad with volume of seven million cubic metres a day.
Middle East Online

The deal is set to make Iraq Iran's top customer

TEHRAN - Iran has begun exporting gas through a pipeline to Baghdad under a deal set to make Iraq the Islamic republic's top customer, the oil ministry said.

"Iran's natural gas exports to Baghdad began Wednesday evening," Deputy Oil Minister Amir Hossein Zamaninia said late Wednesday in comments carried by the ministry's Shana website.

"The exports have started with a volume of seven million cubic metres a day and will eventually reach 35 million cubic metres," he said.

The announcement came two days after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Iran following a fence-mending trip to its bitter rival Saudi Arabia amid diplomatic turmoil in the Gulf.

A new pipeline links western Iran to Baghdad, while a second in Iran's southwest will pump Iranian gas to the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

Once the Basra pipe comes online, Iraq's total gas imports from Iran are set to reach up to 70 million cubic metres a day.

Iran sits on the world's second largest natural gas reserves and produces some 600 million cubic metres a day.

But despite almost doubling its oil exports since international sanctions were lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal, it consumes most of its gas domestically -- partly for lack of export infrastructure.

Turkey has so far been its only export client, importing some 30 million cubic metres a day under a 1996 deal.

The Islamic republic, seeking to expand its gas market, is developing production facilities in the huge offshore oil and gas field of South Pars, which it shares with Qatar.

Shiite-dominated Iran and Iraq, which fought a devastating war in the 1980s, have become close allies since the 2003 fall of Sunni strongman Saddam Hussein and the rise of a Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

 

Sudan clamps down on journalists covering bread protests

Egypt's Sisi says will stand for re-election

Turkey launches new strikes on Kurdish targets in Syria

Pence heads to Mideast despite Muslim, Christian anger

US to overtake Saudi as world’s second crude oil producer

Iraqi, Kurdish leaders hold talks on bitter regional dispute

Russia-led Syria peace congress to be held January 30

Assad regime says Syria a 'tourist' destination

Journalists arrested while reporting Sudan protests

Aid for millions of Palestinians hostage to politics

Lebanon thwarts holiday attacks using IS informant

Mortar fire wounds 14 in Syria mental hospital

Turkish military fires on Kurdish forces in Syria's Afrin

More than 32,000 Yemenis displaced in intensified fighting

UN warns of "lost generation" in South Sudan's grinding conflict

Saudi's refined oil exports offset crude curbs

Turkey's EU minister rejects any option other than full membership

Tribal feuds spread fear in Iraq's Basra

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan

Saudi to give Yemen government $2bn bailout

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians

Saudi Arabia intercepts new Yemen rebel missile attack