Iraq has signed a preliminary gas import deal with Turkmenistan to meet the country’s power demands and diversify its energy sources, reported AFP via Al Arabiya.

According to officials, the countries are still discussing the gas transportation route, which will pass through Iran.

War-torn Iraq, which is also subject to international sanctions, imports gas from Iran to meet one-third of its energy needs.

However, due to payment issues, Tehran frequently cuts gas supply, causing outages and impacting the daily lives of 43 million Iraqis.

In a statement, Iraq’s Electricity Ministry said: “Iraq and Turkmenistan signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to provide Turkmen gas to the country, as part of the government’s program to diversify its energy sources to ensure a stable and sustainable power supply.”

Iraq’s Minister of Electricity Ziad Fadel added that “the pipelines of the Islamic Republic of Iran, connected to Iraqi transport pipelines, will be used to reach the power plants” in Iraq.

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By GlobalData

As per the ministry official who spoke to AFP, the “preliminary agreement” with Turkmenistan calls for the import of around 25 million cubic metres of gas per day.

The official did not specify how much of Iraq’s needs will be met with those imports.

The BP Statistical Review of World Energy states that, in 2021, Iraq consumed 17.1 billion cubic metres of gas.

“It is a memorandum of understanding to expand the horizons of cooperation,” the official was quoted as saying.

“The gas will be transported via Iranian pipelines, which will also require negotiations with the Iranian and Turkmen parties.”

Iraq’s Prime Minister, Mohamed Shia al-Sudani, frequently urges the country to diversify its energy sources.

It has been looking into several options such as imports from Gulf nations like Qatar and recovering flared gas from oilfields to reduce its reliance on Iranian gas.

Earlier this month, the Iraq to Turkey oil pipeline resumed operations after being shut for around six months.

Turkey halted flows through the twin pipeline in March 2023 after it was ordered by the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration to pay around $1.5bn (Tl41.16bn) in damages to Iraq for shipping oil without Baghdad’s authorisation.