People's daily online - 5/6/2006
Kuwait is awaiting to sign an energy contract with Iraq on transferring Iraqi gas to Kuwait, the official Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported Sunday.
Details concerning the gas export contract have all been agreed earlier, but the signing was delayed due to Iraq's incomplete government formation, Undersecretary of Kuwaiti Energy Ministry Eisa Al-Oun was quoted by KUNA as saying.
Al-Oun said that the project consists of two stages, with a budget of 8 million Kuwait dinars (27.2 million U.S. dollars) in the first stage and 230 million Kuwait Dinars (782 million dollars) in the second.
The project agrees that Iraq will export a total of 38 million cubic feet (about 1 million cubic meters) gas to Kuwait in the first stage and 200 million (about 5.7 million cubic meters) in the second, Al-Oun added.
Oil is the sole natural resource in Kuwait, a small Gulf kingdom that enjoys 10 percent of the world's proven oil reserves.
The oil-rich kingdom, which currently has an oil production capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day, expects to cooperate with Iraq on transferring Iraqi gas to Kuwait.
An earlier report said that enough gas supply is crucial for Kuwait due to the country's plans to expand operation in the fields of electricity and petrochemicals.
"We are currently supplying Iraq with large volumes of petrol and diesel, some three million liters per day, which helps a great deal with the fuel crisis (in Iraq)," the undersecretary said.
"We have no objection to supplying more within our production and export capacity," he added.
Despite the sworn in of a new Iraqi government led by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on May 20, the war-torn country is still short of three key cabinet portfolios, namely the defense, the interior and the national security, due to fierce political haggling among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.