Can Exporting Natural Gas Save Iraqi Kurdistan?

Iraqi Kurdish gas is of good quality and it wouldn't cost a lot to extract it and export it because of the location, Ghalib Mohammed, the Chairman of the Committee on Industry and Energy in the province of Sulaymaniyah, told NIQASH.

If Russia does put pressure on Turkey around natural gas then Iraqi Kurdish gas is a good option, says Mohammed.

“Natural gas is present in many parts of Iraqi Kurdistan,” Mohammed says. “It starts from the Karmayan area and stretches into Makhmour and Erbil. But most of it – around 80 percent - is in the Sulaymaniyah area and the Karmayan area.”

Turkey needs over 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year and most of it is imported from other countries.

During the Atlantic Economic Forum in October 2015, Iraqi Kurdistan's Minister for Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami, said that by the early 2020s, the Iraqi Kurdish region would be able to export 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Turkey.

Information from the Energy and Natural Resources committee in the Iraqi Kurdish Parliament indicates that the gas pipeline will begin to be built in February 2016, with the aim of connecting Iraqi Kurdish gas with the Şırnak pipeline in the Kurdish-majority areas in northern Turkey.

On its website, Turkey's state owned crude oil and gas company, BOTAS, announced that it should have completed work on the pipeline within 270 days, after which Iraqi Kurdistan's gas pipeline would be connected to the Turkish network.

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