Iraq may have to build a pipeline via Turkey to receive gas from Turkmenistan as per an agreement to be signed in late 2023, an Iraqi newspaper has said.

Construction of the pipeline could last at least two years and it could allow Baghdad to end reliance on volatile Iranian gas supplies, the Arabic language daily Alalam Al-Jadeed said, quoting Iraqi oil experts.

“I believe that the agreement with Turkmenistan is feasible and viable…gas could be transported to Iraq through a pipeline via Turkey…I think this project could take more than two years to materialise,” said Hamza Al-Jawahri, a well-known Iraqi oil analyst who was an adviser at the National Iraqi Oil Company.

Jawahri said the pipeline project could be launched after Iraq and Turkmenistan sign a final supply agreement, adding that its cost depends on the pipeline’s length, technical specifications and a potential accord with Turkey.

“I think this project could totally end gas imports from Iran because the quantities that Iraq may seek from Turkmenistan could be sufficient to operate all its power facilities,” he said, adding that Iraq has also held talks for possible gas supply from Qatar.

Iraq, OPEC’s second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, announced on Thursday it has reached an initial agreement with Turkmenistan to import gas and that a final accord would be signed before the end of the year.

Iraq is heavily reliant on gas supplies from neighbouring Iran, importing more than nine billion cubic metres in 2022.

Two months ago, Tehran briefly slashed gas supplies to Iraq due to a financial dispute, disrupting power generation in Baghdad and other areas.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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