An employee at work at the Bin Omar natural gas station in Basra. Iraq cannot domestically produce enough natural gas to meet its needs, spokesperson for the oil ministry said. File photo: Mohammed Ali/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Iraq has no alternative to purchasing natural gas from Iran, the spokesperson for the Oil Ministry told Rudaw.
"Regarding gas, currently we do not have any alternatives to Iranian gas,” Assim Jihad told Rudaw TV.
Iran is the closest source for Iraq to supply gas via pipelines that can reach central and southern areas of the country, he explained.
“Additionally, we import about 600 million cubic feet from Iran on a daily basis – something which cannot be compensated by any neighboring countries,” Jihad said.
Iraqi is also not able to domestically produce enough to meet the needs of its power plants, he added.
The ministry has a plan to reach self-sufficiency, but will not get to that point for more than three years, he said.
The United States gave Iraq brief grace period – until the end of December – to find an alternative source for gas and electricity before it will have to abide by sanctions against Iran.
The European Union, which opposes the US stance on Iran, has said it is ready to help
Iraq deal with the sanctions.