Germany in talks with Iraq over possible gas imports: Chancellor

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Germany is in talks with Iraq over the possibility of importing natural gas from the oil-rich country, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Friday, as Berlin scrambles to diversify its energy sources to replace a drop in Russian fossil fuel shipments.

“We also talked about possible gas deliveries to Germany and agreed to stay in close contact,” Scholz told journalists in a joint news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani in Berlin.

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Scholz did not give further details on the volumes of gas Germany hopes to import from Iraq.

Baghdad has offered opportunities to German companies to invest in using Iraq’s natural gas and the gas generated as a byproduct from oil production, al-Sudani said, adding that Iraq wants to deliver gas through a pipeline via Turkey to Europe.

Iraq continues to flare some of the gas extracted alongside crude oil because it lacks the facilities to process it into fuel for local consumption or exports.

Germany, which used to get 55 percent of its gas imports from Russia, has been seeking to diversify its LNG imports to avoid heavy reliance on a few exporters, after deals with Qatar and the United States.

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