A well-known Iraqi energy expert has mocked a government plan to export gas as empty talk, saying the OPEC producer will remain reliant on gas imports.

Nabil Al-Marsoumi said in a weekend Facebook post that Iraq is one of the world’s largest oil producers, but is a major gas importer despite its relatively large gas deposits and plans to develop gas fields.

He was reacting to recent statements by Iraq’s Oil Minister Hayan Abdel Ghani that projects awarded to foreign companies would allow Iraq to export gas.

“Iraq cannot and will never be able to export gas….this reality is demonstrated by plans to import gas from Qatar and Turkmenistan and to increase gas imports from Iran…even if Iraq is able to exploit all its associated gas, it will remain a gas importer given its massive needs for gas to fuel its power stations,” he said.

Iraq’s proven oil and gas deposits are officially estimated at around 145 billion barrels and 3.5 trillion cubic metres respectively.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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