Joe Anis, CEO at GE Gas Power Iraq, asserted that Iraq could generate over 3.5 gigawatts (GW) of power by capturing 40% of associated gas that is currently burned, according to S&P Platts.

“In Iraq, if we capture 30% to 40% of the gas flaring that is being done, we can deliver over 3.5 GW of power that otherwise would not be there with the resources available in the country,” Joe Anis, CEO for the Middle East, North Africa & South Asia at GE Gas Power, told the Powering Iraq virtual conference.

Iraq lacks the pre-existing infrastructure and needs to implement reforms to attract investments needed to utilize its gas resources, according to Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency.

Fostering a natural gas capture system will also go a long way to help satiate Iraq’s growing energy demand. At present, Iraq currently produces around 18 GW of electricity, with plans to reach 30 GW in 2020. 

Iraq, the world’s second-worst flarer behind Russia, burned some 18 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in 2019.

Furthermore, there is increasing pressure from the US for Iraq to wean itself off Iranian gas imports.