ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran halted late Tuesday their gas exports to Iraq as they work on repairing a pipeline damaged in the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck border areas between the two Middle Eastern neighbors on Sunday.
Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity (MoE) said in a statement that the supply cut would reduce power outputs by 2.5 gigawatts.
Iranian authorities had told the MoE that exports would resume “during the next few days” after the conclusion of maintenance work on the pipeline from their side, Reuters reported. Iraq is heavily dependent on Iranian gas to fuel its power plants.
On Sunday, a quake hit many areas of Iraq, Iran, and the Kurdistan Region, with a region near the city of Sapol-e Zahab in Kermanshah (Kermashan) Province at the center.
The incident hospitalized over 600 civilians, most of them from Kermashan.
The quake had also caused extensive infrastructural damage, among them the gas pipeline that supplies power stations in the provinces of Baghdad and Diyala, the MoE said.
They added that the Ministry of Oil would continue to send gas to the power plants, but the two provinces might still have shortages.
Iran, under new rounds of US sanctions on its oil and gas industry, is allowed exports to Iraq for a limited period of 45 days from early November.
However, Baghdad has said the deadline was not enough for it to find other suppliers, and is working to receive an extension from Washington.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany