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Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa al-Sudani is meeting this week in New York with representatives of dozens of U.S. energy companies to pitch potential investments in the Iraqi natural gas sector.
“My government is serious about investment in gas and to be an active and powerful player in the gas market,” the Iraqi official has told Bloomberg Television in an interview.
Al-Sudani has already met with U.S. companies operating in the semi-autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan and planning to expand in other parts of Iraq. The Iraqi PM is also set to meet with representatives of 31 other American companies on Thursday.
Earlier this week, al-Sudani met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Secretary Blinken “encouraged the Government of Iraq to continue sustainably developing energy resources and combating climate change and underscored U.S. support for re-opening of the pipeline with Türkiye,” the U.S. Department of State said in a statement.
Blinken urged the Iraqi government to continue its cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to foster the KRG’s stability and resiliency.
Despite being rich in oil and gas, Iraq has had to import gas from neighboring countries, including Iran, for fuel at its power plants.
Iraq lacks the gas processing plants necessary to process the associated gas extracted from its massive oilfields and continues to flare some of those gas volumes.
Iraq imports gas and electricity from Iran but has had trouble paying for those because of the U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy sector. The U.S., while endorsing the Iraq-Iran energy deals to keep Iraq supplied with power and gas, has been pushing Baghdad to reduce its reliance on Iranian energy imports.
Separately, Iraq’s PM al-Sudani told Bloomberg that his country, OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, is committed to the production cuts and sees an oil price of no less than $85 to $95.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com