My Asharq: Will Iraq be able to supply Germany natural gas? Not likely soon: Iraq has risky 40 % reliance on Iran gas, just like Germany’s was on Russia. Also, Iraq announced the same contract to capture flared gas 3X in six years, with little progress.

ABOVE is the ENGLISH audio track with the translator. (Arabic video is below)
Asharq interview (9m 30s) with myself and expert in Baghdad. 13Jan23

The interview is self-explanatory. I think it is of utmost necessity for Iraq to capture the huge amounts of associate natural gas, a byproduct of oil extraction, which it now flares off, and instead use this gas to displace the huge amounts of Iranian gas it imports. Not only is Iran an obviously dangerous, autocratic regime, which threatens Iraqi sovereignty, it itself has gas shortages every winter.

Iraq currently has a very rational plan it has repeatedly contracted with Baker-Hughes oil-and-gas service company to carry out. If it ever actually carries out this plan (it was announced in 2018, again in 2020 and then December 2022), it should, in my view, first use this gas domestically to displace Iranian imports. Once it gets beyond this serious energy security issue, it will clearly be able to build a large-scale natural gas export business.

The plan German Chancellor Scholz and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani discussed today in Berlin, would accomplish sending Iraqi gas to the EU, and eventually Germany, it exported to |Europe via a new pipeline or pipelines into Turkey for transport via pipelines to Europe. This is all do-able and Erdogan would welcome the business.

But, there are clearly deep institutional, governance, and corruption problem as well as political instability that have prevented the implementation of the aforementioned contract to start capturing some of the huge amounts of associated gas Iraq currently simply wastes by flaring it off. In fact, after Russia, Iraq is the second highest volume gas flaring state. A huge waste and dysfunctional considering its present dependence on Iran for gas.

I should add that a second project, which looks promising, is that Iraq is being integrated into the Gulf Regional electricity grid, and might also import electricity from Saudi Arabia. Since Iranian gas goes heavily to produce electricity, this is another way to reduce that dangerous dependence.

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