Rising oil production and higher economic growth are leading to increased flaring of natural gas produced with crude and increasing imports of LPG, the MEED Iraq Energy Projects conference was told on 25 March.

Adviser to the Ministry of Oil Asri Mousa said that flaring is now as high as 1.5bn cubic feet a day and that LPG imports this year will rise to 1,500 tonnes a day. This compares with forecast total LPG demand of 5,500 tonnes a day.

Mousa said that investment of $40bn in gas facilities would capture flared gas and lift LPG production to displace imports.

“Iraq gas resources can generate revenues over the next 20 years of $500bn in addition to more than $50bn in savings from crude and liquid fuels currently consumed in power generation,” Mousa said.

“Iraq’s probable and possible gas reserves are estimated at 275 trillion cubic feet,” Mousa said. “This is equivalent to our oil reserves. More than 80 per cent of the reserves are associated and the figures do not include Kurdistan gas.”