Iraqi authorities are looking to speed up gas exploitation to help overcome severe electricity shortfalls
Iraq plans to sign a memorandum of understanding with American energy company Orion on Monday to tap gas at an oil field in the south of the country, the petroleum ministry said.
The Nahr Bin Omar field, which is operated by state-run Basra Oil, is now producing over 40,000 barrels per day of oil and 25 million cubic feet a day of natural gas, Reuters reported.
Still, only a small part of the gas from the field is being exploited. Iraq is looking to tap its gas deposits to help overcome severe electricity shortfalls in the country of about 35 million people.
Baghdad has been in lengthy talks with American giant Exxon and Chinese companies about developing oil production at the field.
Analyst Ruba Husari said as those talks drag on, Iraqi authorities are looking to speed up gas exploitation for electricity production.