Interview: the future of Iraqi natural gas

Energy expert Luay Jawadal-Khatteeb calls Shell’s associated gas deal “unethical,” explains why Iraq needs a gas master plan that will meet domestic needs first.

BAGHDAD - As Iraq tries to become the world’s largest oil producer, quintupling its capacity to more than 12.5 million barrels per day (bpd), it must overcome not only the normal challenges of petroleum engineering, but also the institutional and security challenges of a country sputtering toward full sovereignty.

A month-long heatwave has caused a spike in electricity demand, power shortages, over-reliance on generators, and a run on fuel. On Tuesday, more than 60 people were killed in suicide and roadside bombings and silenced-pistol assassinations. Five months after a national election, politicians have still not negotiated the formation of a new government. Despite such volatility, foreign companies have signed up to invest billions in oil deals, and Iraq is prepping to offer three dry gas field contracts in an auction on Oct. 1.

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