BAGHDAD, September 2 (Reuters) – Iraq’s electricity ministry says Iranian gas supplied to central and southern regions has been cut from 49 million to 8 million cubic meters per day, putting severe shortages at risk electricity.
The ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that there had been contacts with the Iranian Energy Ministry and Iranian Embassy in Baghdad to clarify the reasons for the reduction.
A senior official with the Iranian National Gas Company (NIGC) said Thursday morning that the reduction in exports by 38 million cubic meters per day was based on a six-month deal with Baghdad and with notice, the website reported. Ministry of Petroleum SHANA.
“Iran announced this reduction in exports to Iraq two weeks ago … to last up to 6 months,” the official added.
A reduction in Iranian gas supplies has caused the Iraqi national electricity system to lose about 5,500 megawatts, the ministry said in a statement.
The United States has repeatedly extended by 90 or 120 days a sanctions waiver to allow Baghdad to import Iranian energy after Washington reimposed sanctions on Tehran’s oil sector banning countries from buying any Iranian energy.
The United States has insisted Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, move towards self-sufficiency as a condition of its exemption for importing Iranian energy, but Baghdad has struggled to do so, in partly because of low oil prices. (Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed and Alaa Swilam in Cairo; editing by Louise Heavens and Grant McCool)