*Supply could come from Akkas gas field
*Dana, Crescent have development plan for Akkas if needed
*Anbar governor says against Akkas gas going to Nabucco
By Thomas Grove and Simon Webb
ISTANBUL/DUBAI, Oct 14 UAE firms Dana Gas
DANA.AD and Crescent Oil are looking to build a gas city in
Iraq's western province of Anbar that they hope would draw $60
billion in investment, said Province Governor Qassim al-Fahdawi.
The gas could come from the province's Akkas gas field,
which al-Fahdawi said Dana and Crescent were also keen to
develop with the central Oil Ministry.
The plan would use gas Baghdad has previously identified
for possible export to the Nabucco pipeline or for export to
Syria in order to feed power generation plants as well as
petrochemical and fertilizer factories, the governor said.
Europe-sponsored and U.S.-supported Nabucco is envisaged to
carry Russian gas to Europe via the Black Sea to bypass transit
countries, including Ukraine.
Fahdawi said Dana and Crescent had estimated an investment
of $8 billion for the development of the Akkas Field and added a
South Korean firm had also put in an offer to develop the city.
Al-Fahdawi was in Istanbul last week to meet potential
investors over the 2.1 trillion cubic metre reserve Akkas Field
and the gas city model.
A Crescent spokesman said the company had submitted a formal
proposal for the project, which it said it had been discussing
with the province.
Dana and Crescent, which have contracts with the regional
Kurdish government in northern Iraq (KRG), may have difficulty
getting the nod for the project from Baghdad. The oil ministry
deems deals done by the largely autonomous Kurdish region with
foreign firms as illegal.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has said Iraq could
supply some 15 billion cubic metres of gas through the Nabucco
Pipeline to Europe.
Al-Fahdawi said he would rather see the gas used to boost
the local economy in Anbar. When asked if Akkas gas could be
used for the Nabucco pipeline, al-Fahdawi said, "We would veto
it. It will not be done, we are ready to export power if that is
Anbar has seen some of the heaviest violence since the U.S.
led invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, and al-Fahdawi said he
wants to bring industry to the region for the sake of stability
Akkas and Mansuriyah, another gas field in Diyala province,
failed to secure developers in Iraq's June auction of oil and
The government then decided that the National Oil Company --
whose foundation depends on the passage through parliament of
Iraq's long-delayed hydrocarbon laws -- would take the lead in
developing the gas fields instead.
Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said he could not confirm
whether Dana and Crescent had submitted proposals to develop
Akkas, but said the door was open for foreign firms to assist
Iraqi state companies.
"The national companies will develop Akkas, but as you know,
gas production is very complex, and there must be the support of
international firms ... to develop this field. The national
companies can't do it alone, there must be cooperation with
international firms to extract and export gas."
Dana and Crescent are involved in another initiative in the
Kurdish region that could supply Nabucco. The two companies have
teamed up with Austria's OMV (OMVV.VI) and Hungary's MOL
MOLB.BU to supply gas both locally and to Nabucco from fields
in the Kurdish region operated by the UAE firms.
The UAE firms are also building a gas city in the Kurdish
region, and plan other similar projects in Egypt and Yemen.
The concept model for the cities is that the UAE firms and
partners develop the infrastructure for energy intensive
industries that could be fed by gas, for example steel, cement
(Additional reporting by Mohammed Abbas in Baghdad; Editing by