The Kurdistan Region could hold as much as 200 trillion cubic feet (5.67 trillion cubic metres) of natural gas reserves, around 3% of the world's total reserves. This positions Kurdistan for a prominent role in regional and global gas markets.
Since 2003, large gas discoveries have been made . As exploration activities are intensifying, it is certain that more gas will be discovered and will consolidate the vision of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Our policy is to first satisfy domestic need for power and industrial uses, and then to export. The first step is to make all the people of Iraq benefit from the underground wealth. We are already using gas for power generation and to help provide electricity to some of our neighbouring governorates, such as Ninevah and Kirkuk, and soon Salahaddin. The KRG has developed gas-fired power generation, with a current capacity of 3 GW and an additional 3 GW in the near future. Any excess gas will be directed towards developing local industries and the domestic gas network.
Later on, available gas will be exported to Turkey, the largest gas consumer in the region. The first export of gas is expected by 2016, providing a reliable source for Turkey. In addition, the Kurdistan Region is looking to Europe, which also needs a secure, reliable and diverse gas supply.
Our environmental policy puts tight restrictions on gas flaring. To ensure that all gas is used and flaring is kept to an absolute minimum, we are encouraging companies to make plans for gas utilisation.