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Kuwait Looking into Importing Iraqi Natural Gas

Source: Times Kuwait 12/11/2017, Location: Middle East

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The State of Kuwait is looking into ways to import Iraqi natural gas and it is negotiating a deal on the final price, said Kuwaiti Minister of Oil and Minister of Water and Electricity Essam Al-Marzouq. Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the 99th meeting for the ministerial council of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), Al-Marzouq revealed that importing gas from Iraq will be carried out through a new network of pipelines that will replace an old system.

The whole process will be done in phases and Kuwait agreed on importing 50 million cubic feet (ft3) of gas, said the minister, adding that the second phase will involve imports of 200 million cubic ft3 for a period of a decade. Last Thursday, Al-Marzouq set the cornerstone of Al-Zour Refinery, a project designed to process heavy crude oil which will have an impact on the country's economy.

Gas installations in Al-Zour will cover the country's needs for the resource for up to 30 years, said the minister. Regarding OPEC's output reduction deal, the minister indicated that there will be a meeting to discuss the deal next June which will be followed by monthly meetings looking into a way to discontinue the process.

Al-Marzouq touched on proceedings within OAPEC, revealing that the UAE will hold the Presidency next year while the upcoming meeting for the organization will be held in Kuwait in December 2018.

On his part, Iraqi Minister of Oil Jabbar Al-Luaibi affirmed that both countries were in the final stages for the agreement to export natural gas from Iraq to Kuwait.

An Iraqi delegation will arrive in Kuwait next week to set the final touches on the accord, revealed Al-Luaibi. On his prediction for the global price, the Iraqi Minister said that it might hover at USD 60 per barrel.

He touched on his country's production, saying that Iraq produced around 4.3 million barrels per day. Al-Luaibi hoped that the production would reach five million bpd by the second half of next year.

In regards to the Iraqi-Iranian accord signed yesterday, Al-Luaibi said that Iraq will export around 30 to 60 million bpd to Iran and the Iranians will export a similar number of barrels to Iraq.

The minister also indicated that Iraq had a memo signed with British Petroleum (BP) to evaluate Kirkuk oil field, adding that the Iraqi side was eager to increase production by 700,000 bpd.

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