Iraq has a contingency strategy to deal with a potential shortage in natural gas supplies from Iran due to US sanctions, but hopes that such disruptions will not happen, according to Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban, Reuters reported.

“We hope there will be no halt, but we have taken precautionary measures for such a situation,” Ghadhban said.

Iraq depends heavily on importing gas from Iran to generate power and meet the demand on electricity, especially during summer.

Moreover, Iraq plans to build a refinery with a production capacity of around 150,000 barrels per day (b/d) near the northern city of Mosul to refine heavy crude oil from the nearby Nejma and Qayyara oilfields, the minister added, pointing out that the Kerbala refinery in southern Iraq will start operating in 2022 with a production capacity of another 150,000 b/d.