Iraq is actively engaged in negotiations with Iran to secure a stable supply of Turkmen gas through a swap arrangement, leveraging Iran’s existing pipeline infrastructure. The Iraqi Ministry of Electricity recently affirmed significant progress in fulfilling the agreed-upon requirements for the Turkmen gas supply, marking a crucial development in the nation’s pursuit of diversified energy sources.
Ahmed Musa, spokesperson for the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity, stated on January 20, 2024, that all previously agreed-upon matters related to Turkmenistan gas have been accomplished. However, he highlighted the necessity of further discussions with the Iranian side, as Turkmenistan gas is slated to be transported through Iranian pipelines to reach Iraq. The complexity of this arrangement necessitates multiple meetings and negotiations with Iranian counterparts to finalize the agreement, Musa explained.
Musa confirmed that ongoing negotiations and meetings with the Iranian side are underway to facilitate the seamless flow of Turkmen gas into Iraq. The collaborative efforts between Iraq and Iran underscore the strategic importance of regional partnerships in meeting energy demands and fostering economic cooperation.
The origins of this initiative trace back to early November 2023 when an Iraqi delegation, led by Minister of Electricity Ziad Ali Fadel, held talks with Turkmengaz officials in Ashgabat. The outcome of these discussions materialized in a signed protocol, delineating key commercial terms for a potential Turkmen gas supply agreement with Iraq.
The proposed agreement operates under the SWAP scheme, envisioning the annual transportation of 9 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas to Iraq over five years. This ambitious plan aligns with Iraq’s broader strategy to diversify its energy sources, reduce dependence on specific suppliers, and ensure a more stable and resilient energy sector.
As the negotiations progress, the cooperation between Iraq and Iran takes on regional significance, presenting an opportunity for both nations to enhance energy security and strengthen bilateral ties. The utilization of Iran’s established pipeline infrastructure for the transit of Turkmen gas exemplifies a pragmatic approach to regional energy dynamics, emphasizing collaboration for mutual benefit.
The ongoing discussions signify a step forward in realizing a comprehensive energy agreement that not only meets Iraq’s gas requirements but also fosters economic development and cooperation in the region. The success of these negotiations could herald a new era of energy collaboration, contributing to the stability and sustainability of Iraq’s energy sector.