Iraq exported the first shipment of 10,000cm of natural gas in its history in March, which marks a key development for the OPEC member struggling to feed its cash-strapped economy amid an expensive fight against the so called Islamic State, CBS News reported.

A tanker carrying the cargo of gas condensates, produced by a joint venture with Shell, left the southern port of Khor al-Zubair in mid-March, heading to Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates, the Iraqi Oil Ministry said, according to Reuters.

The move revives a long-sought ambition by Iraq to become a gas exporter thanks to a joint venture with Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp. Iraq first planned to begin exporting gas in the late 1970s, but the timeline was delayed by the Iraq-Iran war when Iraqi export ports were bombed.

According the International Energy Agency, Iraq has estimated natural gas reserves of 112tcm, making it the 11th largest gas producer in the world.