BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: The Iraqi Oil Ministry announced on Tuesday its four-year plan (2011-2014) to produce oil and gas and sent it to the Council of Ministers before submitting it to the parliament.
Iraq plans to auction 12 exploration blocks, believed to contain mostly gas reserves, in November as part of the country’s efforts to capture natural gas for electricity generation, the country’s oil minister said Tuesday.
Abdul Karim al-Luaibi said 70% of these blocks are believed to contain gas reserves only, with the rest containing oil and gas reserves.
“We think that these 12 blocks contain at least 29 trillion cubic feet of [non-associated] gas,” the minister told reporters in Baghdad.
Iraq has in the last few years held three bidding rounds to auction off 15 of the country’s most prized oil and gas fields.
The Iraqi central government needs to boost its gas production and build more gas-fired power plants to increase its power output, currently at 6,500 megawatts, which is less than half the country’s needs.
Iraq, which has natural gas reserves totaling 126.7 trillion cubic feet, according to official figures, produces only around 1.6 billion cubic feet a day, half of which is being flared.
However, the country has ambitions to become one of the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas exporters after meeting its domestic needs.