Anbar, central governments poised for fight over Akkas

The western province wants the prospective gas field to be fed directly to local refineries and power plants, allowing exports only of refined products. Or else.
The Anbar government wants to use the Akkas gas field to develop Ramadi, as seen from this aerial view, and other cities. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

RAMADI, IRAQ - The Iraqi Oil Ministry plans to offer the Akkas gas field again to foreign investors, which could bolster the country's underdeveloped natural gas sector, increasing fuel for domestic needs and turning Iraq into a net gas exporter. But officials in Anbar province, where the field is located, demand that the gas be kept in the country.

"We are against the exporting of the raw gas outside Iraq. We have to use it," said Qasim Abid, governor of Anbar province. "We have one opinion, the governorate, the people and the province council, we all are against [the Oil Ministry’s] approach."

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