Necat Huseyin, a member of the Kirkuk Province Council's Energy Commission, announced that the construction of the natural gas pipeline to Turkey has begun after the meetings of Kirkuk's local government and Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Huseyin said they cannot provide an estimation for the construction period.
The natural gas will be extracted from the Bay Hasan gas fields in the town of Dibis located 35 kilometers northwest of Kirkuk. Huseyin highlighted that this natural gas will be a new source of income for the residents in the region. "The residents of the region want people to benefit from our country's underground treasures, so it doesn't matter who the natural gas or crude oil will be exported to," Huseyin said.
The first batch of natural gas from the KRG is expected to flow into Turkey within the next two or three years, and 20 billion cubic meters of it are expected to pour into the Turkish market, where it will then reach the European market in early 2020.
The KRG's 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves stand out as an important source for Turkey, which has an approximate annual demand of 50 billion cubic meters of gas.
Diversifying natural gas sources and easy access to suppliers have become a top priority for Turkey, especially after relations with Russia soured after the downing of Russian bomber jet that breached Turkish airspace on Nov. 24. The future of the proposed Turkish Stream pipeline, proposed to carry natural gas directly from Russia to Turkey under the Black Sea, is still uncertain due to disagreements between the two countries.
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