MNA – Deputy prime minister of Iraq for energy affairs said the US decision on ending waivers on Iran sanctions does not affect Iraq’s energy ties with Iran since the country does not import oil from Iran
Thamer Ghadhban, who is also the country’s oil minister, made the remarks in a joint press conference with Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Fatih Birol in Baghdad, IRNA reported on Friday.
“Iraq is an exporter of crude oil to other countries and therefore is not subject to the new decision of the US president,” the official said.
The oil minister said on Thursday that although his country had the capacity to increase its oil production to six million barrels per day (bpd) if necessary, but it is committed to OPEC-led output cuts and would not take unilateral action to boost supply.
Iraq’s electricity ministry has also announced that despite the recent decision by Donald Trump to end sanctions exemptions on Iran oil, Iraq will continue to import gas from Iran.
As reported by Mehr news agency, the spokesman of Iraqi Ministry of Electricity Musab Al-Mpdares told a talk show on Wednesday that “Iraq now imports about 28 million cubic feet of gas from Iran which feed a number of power stations that produce about 2,800 MW.”
The official further noted that his country plans to increase its gas imports from Iran to 35 million cubic feet per day as of early June in order to increase electricity production to 3,500 MW.
The spokesman also said that the Iraq ministry is going to supply 18,000 MW during hot summer as its main aim, adding that Iran will continue to export 1,200 MW per day to Iraq as before.
He further pointed out that Iran and Iraq use their local currencies to carry out the contract payments.
The United States on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.
The White House said after its Iran move it was working with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to ensure oil markets were “adequately supplied” but traders worried about tight supplies.
Reported by: Ebrahim Fallahi