Iraq’s Oil Ministry has confirmed that it is close to signing a deal to import gas from Iran after denying the deal on 4 August following announcements in Tehran.

Kareem al-Luabi, Iraq’s deputy Oil Minister confirmed on 9 August that Iraq was ready to allow the transit of gas through its territory to Syria, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Officials from the two oil ministries held talks in Baghdad at the end of July and on 3 August, Iran’s Shana news agency reported that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed.

Jawad Oji, Iran’s deputy oil minister told the state-run agency that the deal paved the way for Iraq to import 5 to 10 million cubic metres a day (cm/d) of natural gas over a five to seven year period.

The report was swiftly denied by sources close to Iraq’s Oil Ministry, which told MEED that it had rejected the plan.

An eventual agreement, which would see gas imports into Iraq lends support to the growing calls against deals with foreign oil companies that would see Iraq exporting gas (MEED 3:8:10).