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Iraq asking Iran for increased gas supply: Official

Iraq is negotiating with Iran to secure increased supply of natural gas for its power plants.

An official in the Iraqi government has said that the Arab country has been negotiating with Iran to secure a major increase in the daily supply of natural gas delivered to its power plants.

Iraqi Ministry of Electricity spokesman Ahmad Musa said on Saturday that current demand for natural gas in the Iraqi power sector is 55-60 million cubic meters (mcm) per day of which some 43 mcm is supplied from Iran.

Musa said, however, that Iraq has been asking Iran for increased natural gas supplies so that it could respond to a growring demand for cooling this summer.  

He told Iraq’s INA news agency that increased gas supply from Iran will also be necessary to guarantee that Iraq’s new power plant projects could come on line on time.

That comes as Iran has increased its gas exports to Iraq by more than five times since mid-June when Baghdad settled debts related to its previous energy imports.

The increased supply enabled the Iraqis to raise their electricity output by 22% to more than 22 gigawatts, according to the latest government figures published in the country.  

Iraq has secured rounds of waivers from American sanctions on Iran to be able to import energy from its eastern neighbor.

The Arab country has made it clear that it could not comply with US demands to wean off from the Iranian energy as it relies heavily on imports of gas to generate electricity.

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