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Cooking gas price spike temporary says Erbil governor, but alludes to issues with Baghdad over gasoline shipments

A baker next to propane gas tanks in Sulaimani in 2020 (NRT Digital Media/Winthrop Rodgers)
PM:02:09:16/10/2021

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SULAIMANI — Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw said on Saturday (October 16) that the recent increase in the price of propane gas in the governorate is due to repairs underway at facilities at the Khor Mor gas field in Sulaimani governorate, which supplies most of the Kurdistan Region with the vital resource.

In an interview with a media outlet affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Khoshnaw assured residents that the issue will not cause a gas crisis or a price increase over the long-term.

He said that relevant authorities have questioned gas companies about the situation and will take stricter measures with them from now on to ensure price stability.

On Thursday, the price of one bottle of gas hit 14,000 Iraqi dinars ($9.59), up from 7,500 Iraqi dinars ($5.14) the previous week.

The gas is used extensively for cooking and heating in the Kurdistan Region and any change in price has an immediate impact on businesses and residents, especially in low income areas.

Khoshnaw estimated that repairs will take two weeks to complete, adding that representatives of the South Kurdistan Group gas company and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Natural Resources are engaged in talks to send more gas to the Region’s cities.

In addition to increases in the price of propane, gasoline prices have also increased, nearly doubling since the start of the year, prompting protests from taxi and minibus drivers.

Iraq’s federal government had been sending supplies of subsidized gasoline in an effort to blunt the impact of the price increase.

Addressing that issue, Khoshnaw said, without elaborating, that there is an issue between Baghdad and Erbil, which KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani has directed the natural resources minister to resolve.

(NRT Digital Media)