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    US Extends 90-Day Waiver for Iraq


The US government has further extended waivers for Iraq, allowing it to continue to import Iranian gas and electricity.

by: Dalga Khatinoglu

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US Extends 90-Day Waiver for Iraq

The US government has further extended waivers for Iraq, allowing it to continue to import Iranian gas and electricity. This is the fourth time that US has given a 90-day waiver, which is necessary if Iraq is to continue running its power plants.

Washington granted additional 90-day waiver for Iranian gas import and 120-day exemption to continue electricity imports. US State Department told NGW that while this waiver is intended to help Iraq mitigate energy shortages, it continues to discuss Iran-related sanctions with Iraq.

Iraqi officials said the country imports 28mn m3/d of Iranian gas, but the volume is expected to reach 35mn m3/d in June. However, according to national Iranian gas company’s statistics, seen by NGW, Iran has exported 13.1mn m3/d during last fiscal year (ended March 21) and 16mn m3/d during March 21-May 22 to Iraq.

Iran also exported about 5 TWh electricity to Iraq during last fiscal year, about 26% less than the previous year. During last two months, the country’s electricity delivery to Iraq declined 20% year-on-year to 1.1 TWh.

State Department said “we are also continuing to work with Iraq to end its dependence on Iranian natural gas and electricity and increase its energy independence.  Expanding the use of Iraq’s own natural resources and diversifying energy imports away from Iran will strengthen Iraq’s economy and development as well as encourage a united, democratic, and prosperous Iraq free from malign Iranian influence”.

US withdrew from nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018 and has imposed sanctions on Tehran’s oil exports, industrial, banking, financial, metal and petrochemical sectors. Washington granted first waivers for Iraq in October 2018.

Iran started supplying 7mn m³/d of gas to Baghdad in June 2017. Exports to Basrah started in mid-2018. The contractual volume is 50mn m3/d, projected to grow gradually. Iran has to send 70% of the contracted volume during the summer season and the rest in other months.

BP estimated Iranian gas exports to Iraq during 2018 at about 15mn m3/d.