Iraq's gas reserves at 132 trillion standard cubic feet

Iraq’s gas reserves and the imperative for strategic investment and emission reduction

BAGHDAD, December 3 — The Ministry of Oil has estimated Iraq’s gas reserves at 132 trillion standard cubic feet, ranking fifth in the Arab world and tenth globally in terms of gas reserves. Additionally, Iraq is confirmed to hold the fourth position globally in gas flaring, with an annual volume estimated at 14 billion cubic meters.

Ali Jasim, the director of the Oil Research and Development Center, stated in an official statement, as reported by the 964 network, that “the importance of natural gas in any country lies in its significant role as a source of thermal, mechanical, and electrical energy in various sectors. It is considered a cleaner and less environmentally polluting fuel, serving as a raw material for petrochemical industries. Additionally, it contributes to approximately a quarter of the world’s consumed energy, aiding in global energy growth.”

He added, “Gas production in Iraq commenced concurrently with oil production, with the majority being associated gas with crude oil, constituting approximately 75% of the extraction. The remaining 25% is considered free gas.” He pointed out the potential for Iraq to become a global gas supplier if its reserves are properly leveraged, following well-thought-out strategic plans and timely execution. He emphasized that natural gas has not received sufficient investment attention in the past period.

He continued, stating that “investing in gas ensures a significant improvement in the outputs of electricity production and reduces harmful environmental emissions.” He pointed out that Iraq has committed to financing the plans of large projects with its partners in Basra Gas Company, whether completed projects or those under construction with other companies operating in its oil fields under licensing rounds.

Jasim affirmed that “the state of instability and uncertainty in determining investment paths in light of plans and programs for transitioning to clean energy, along with the significant challenge facing the world in balancing global energy security and eliminating energy poverty to meet the increasing global demand, especially in the recovery phase from the repercussions of COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine, as well as countries’ commitment to implementing climate change mitigation requirements and reducing gas emissions. All of this calls for those in the oil industry and decision-makers to address the causes of gas flaring and strive to achieve zero flaring by 2030.” He explained that “Iraq ranks fourth globally in gas flaring, with an estimated volume of 14 billion cubic meters annually, a result of delays in its investment plans and insufficient funds for implementation.”