Tuesday, October 07, 2008
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq News Service : Dana Gas and al-Hilal Company announced on Saturday that they started producing initial natural gas supplies within their joint mega venture in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, according to a joint statement by the two companies. Al-Hilal CEO, Hameed Diaa Jaafar, had said in statements that the two companies would soon start producing natural gas from the Cormol oilfield in Sulaimaniya province at an initial amount of 75 million cubic feet per day, to gradually grow to 300 million cubic feet per day by the beginning of 2009. "The two companies have concluded a series of service agreements and contracts with the Kurdistan Regional Government in April 2007 by virtue of the Strategic Alliance Protocol between the companies and the KRG," read the statement as received by Aswat al-Iraq. "The two companies together allocated total investments of $650 million, thus becoming the largest investment project to be injected by the private sector into Iraq at present and also the largest private sector contribution in the oil & gas sphere in the country in decades," it added. The gas supplies should be used as fuel for power generation at a capacity of 1250 megawatt from new under-construction stations near the Kurdish cities of Arbil and Sulaimaniya with the objective of providing electricity to more than four million Iraqis. "The project should also help save $2.5 billion annually for the government budgets allocated to cover liquid fuel imports at present," the statement indicated, pointing out that the two companies are still in talks with the natural resources ministry in the KRG to develop the Kurdistan Gas City project. The City's cornerstone should have been laid in the district of Jamjamal, Sulaimaniya province, over an area of 43 square kilometers but was postponed indefinitely. Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city of Sharjah, al-Hilal boasts more than 35 years of oil industry experience in many Arab and foreign countries. The UAE firm is the largest private sector stockholder in Dana Gas, which was founded in 2005. Also headquartered in Sharjah, Dana Gas is one of the largest natural gas extracting companies in the Middle East region.