08 Jul 2016
In the past year there has been an enormous shift in Iraq’s energy markets. Just one year ago the country faced acute LPG shortages forcing it to spend millions of dollars in imports in order to meet the local demand. Today domestic needs are being met and costly imports of LPG have ceased, enabling the country to prepare for sustained exports of excess LPG in the near future. This will not only help the country diversify its energy portfolio and create a new income stream, but also positioning Iraq as one of the world’s LPG exporters
LPG is an important fuel in Iraq. It is used for domestic cooking, lighting, heating and transportation. In the past the requirements for LPG outstripped supply forcing the country to import. Understanding that Iraq had the natural resources at its disposal and that domestic needs could be met if it could just harness them, the Ministry of Oil has been working very hard through concentrated efforts to deliver gas projects with Basrah Gas Company in southern Iraq to turn that situation around.
As a result of these efforts, Basrah Gas Company exported a pressurized cargo of excess LPG, approximately 2000 tonnes, from Basrah Gas Company’s Um Qasr port near Basrah. This first shipment is an important step towards preparing the country for sustained LPG exports in the coming months once additional expansion works are completed at the port.
Commenting on the achievements, H.E. Dr Hamid Al Zawbai, Deputy Minister of Oil for Gas Affairs stated; “it is a remarkable achievement to think that just one year ago our country faced acute LPG shortages and today, having satisfied domestic needs we are beginning to plan for a future in which Iraq can export excess LPG supplies. This is another important milestone for Iraq’s energy industry. Thanks to sustained delivery by Basrah Gas Company, domestic LPG demands are now being met and expensive imports have completely stopped. This first shipment of LPG is a step towards our long term plan to become a leading supplier of LPG in the region and builds upon the success of delivering Iraq’s first ever condensate exports earlier this year.”
BGC Managing Director, Simon Daman Willems, added, “This milestone is testament to the significant progress which has been made over the past few years towards gas rehabilitation and expansion in southern Iraq. Today’s achievement is linked to the fact that we have been able to double our gas processing capacity over the past three years, making Basrah Gas Company Iraq’s main producer of LPG. Iraq’s ability to commence shipments of LPG is no longer a vision, its fast becoming a reality. This LPG shipment sets a positive new course for the energy industry of tomorrow delivering greater benefits for Iraq and its people.”
The Um Qasr port, where the LPG shipment originates, is owned and operated by the Basrah Gas Company a 25 year joint venture between South Gas Company, Shell and Mitsubishi. BGC was formed through the vision of the Iraq Government in 2013. The company captures and processes gas, previously flared, in order to create increased energy supplies as part of the largest gas investment in Iraq’s history.
The shipment of LPG from Umm Qasr follows Iraq’s first ever export of excess condensate from the same port earlier in 2016.
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