Iraq's untapped gas reserves in Mansuriyah field hold promise

Iraq's untapped gas reserves in Mansuriyah field hold promise

Shafaq News/ Since the 1970s, gas reserves have been discovered in the Mansuriyah field between Al-Azim and Mansuriyah in northeastern Diyala Governorate.

Despite decades, the gas remains untapped beneath the hills, prompting successive governments' efforts to harness it for energy production and reduce reliance on costly Iranian gas imports.

Over the years, the Ministry of Oil and the government have intermittently announced plans to develop the Mansuriyah field through agreements with international companies. However, these efforts have yet to materialize, leaving the field's "gigantic" reserves largely unexploited.

The Ministry of Oil has estimated the field's reserves at approximately 4.5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with a daily production potential exceeding 300 million cubic feet if developed optimally.

In a recent development, the Cabinet, during its 18th session, greenlit the signing of a development contract for the Mansuriyah gas field between the ministry and a coalition comprising the Chinese JERA company and Petro Iraq.

Notably, previous contracts signed years ago with Chinese and Turkish companies were stalled without disclosed reasons.

In this regard, Fares Al-Jubouri, a Diyala Provincial Council member, noted that "despite gas discoveries dating back to 1974, extraction operations have not commenced, leading to continued reliance on Iranian gas," noting the possibility of developing Mansuriyah to alleviate this dependence, particularly during crises or temperature spikes.

"All requirements and conditions for developing the gas field, including expertise, infrastructure, and land availability, are currently in place and only require sincere and genuine efforts free from external influences." He added.

In turn, Engineer Taha Ezzeldin highlighted the "strategic importance" of gas wells like Red Khasham and Kalabat in Mansuriyah and Diyala.

"These wells have economic benefits as they can provide electricity to Diyala and neighboring governorates and liquefied gas to citizens."

He stressed that "initiating gas extraction and investment creates job opportunities for thousands of workers and engineers. Furthermore, operational companies will necessitate specialized support services such as drilling, pipeline extension, specialized machinery, logistics, technical, and other service-oriented sectors."

Economic expert Rasim Al-Akeidi lamented regional and international challenges hindering Iraq's gas extraction efforts, citing potential economic benefits and reduced living costs for citizens if Mansuriyah gas were utilized for electricity production.

"Some try to keep Iraq importing gas from neighboring Iran under the guise of benefiting another country because it is besieged (due to the US sanctions.)."

He explained that "the cost of producing electricity from gas is meager. If gas from Mansuriyah is extracted for the power station, the cost will be lower by up to 10% compared to imported gas from Iran. However, there are internal, regional, and international obstacles trying to prevent gas production in Iraq."

Regarding the volume of Iraqi gas reserves, he stated, "If extracted and invested properly, the gas in the Mansuriyah and Akkas fields in Diyala and Al-Anbar, along with associated gas from oil extraction, could make Iraq one of the largest gas producers in the Middle East, achieving self-sufficiency and becoming a major exporter."

MP Salem Al-Anbaki pointed out the economic and energy benefits of investing in gas extraction in the Mansuriyah field.

Al-Anbaki stressed that "gas extraction and its utilization at the Mansuriyah power station, along with supplying other stations, can lead to substantial improvements in energy availability and economic growth within a few years."

"The failure to invest in gas since 2010, despite several rounds of licensing, has inflicted significant losses on Iraq, which could have changed its economic, service, and environmental reality forever…Al-Sudani's government is trying to invest in gas and avoid repeating the mistakes of previous governments. We in the parliament support this direction to rely on national resources and support the Iraqi economy."

Notably, Iraq has four non-associated gas fields: Akkas in Al-Anbar, Mansuriyah in Diyala, Siba in Basra, and Khor Mor in Al-Sulaymaniyah.

Shafaq Live
Shafaq Live
Radio radio icon