Iraq’s oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar announced on Monday that an agreement has been reached with Lebanon to start exporting fuel to Beirut in 2021, using global prices.
“Iraq agreed to sell a quantity of black oil to Lebanon during the year of 2021. The quantities will be announced later, according to the prices of the international platform,” Ihsan Abdul Jabbar said in a statement.
Fuel supply quantities will cover part of Lebanon’s needs for fuel to generate power, the ministry cited Jabbar as saying.
The announcement came after a meeting between Iraq’s Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar and Lebanon’s caretaker Minister of Energy and Water Raymond Ghajar in Baghdad on Monday.
Ghajar noted that Lebanon will work on expanding the horizons of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, with the concerned authorities in the two ministries setting up mechanisms for the implementation of the agreement.
However, Lebanese ministry officials have previously said that Lebanon strictly takes low sulfur fuel oil for its power plants, less than 1 percent, while Iraq only supplies high-sulfur fuel oil, ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 percent.
Interestingly, caretaker Minister Ghajar himself had issued in a statement, just three months ago, that the 1,800,000 liters of gas oil donated by Iraq, following the Beirut Blast, were not suitable for use in electricity factories and power plants.
The outgoing Energy minister, who is currently refusing to submit his ministry’s contracts following a lawsuit, has yet to explain how Lebanon would be able to use a reportedly unsuitable high-sulfur fuel oil from Iraq by next year.
Until then, Lebanon is running low on fuel, dimming Lebanese resident’s hopes of a better year to come.