0950 GMT April 24, 2019
Managing Director of National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) Hamidreza Araqi said the second phase of Iran's gas export to Iraq is underway and Basra has indicated its readiness to receive gas from Iran, "but no gas has so far been sent to Basra", Fars News Agency reported.
The official said Iran's gas flow to the city would start once Baghdad makes payments for the gas.
"Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has the final say in this respect and they are currently trying to sort out the financial and budget aspects of importing gas [from Iran]," he said.
Noting that everything is ready to start Iran's gas flow to Basra, Araqi said, "One of the things that hindered Iran's gas export to Basra was that Basra's pipeline system to transmit the gas was not ready, but the lines are ready now."
Pointing to the readiness of gas metering systems in Basra pipelines, he said Iran's gas exports to Basra will begin at a formal ceremony.
Iraq needs the gas to run two power plants in Baghdad and Basra. Iran started gas export to Iraq last May which has been continuing without any interruption since then.