EghtesadOnline: Iraq could lower its reliance on Iranian gas and electricity imports next year if (and when) OPEC's second largest oil producer can implement multi-billion deals signed with US companies and attract Saudi investments, the deputy prime minister said.
Iraq signed $8 billion worth of energy deals with US companies during last week's visit of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Washington, his first state visit to the US since assuming office in May, S&P Global reported.
At the same time, Iraq is trying to woo Saudi investments and link its electricity grid to the Persian Gulf grid through Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
"I assume that the dependence on Iranian gas and electricity imports will begin to trail down sometime next year, but between now and then we have little options except to continue to draw on this source," Ali Allawi, who is also finance minister, told a webinar organized by the Atlantic Council.
"It is unlikely that we can find a short-term substitute, but a medium-term effort can be done by linking the Iraqi grid to the Persian Gulf grid. These are again projects that are on the verge of being defined and designed and put out to tender."
Iraq is under US pressure to wean itself off Iranian electricity and gas imports, which are needed due to power shortages and flaring of associated gas that is also bound by production limits due to the country's attempted adherence to OPEC+ oil output cuts.