A step forward … to extend a pipeline network to all parts of Iraq…

A step forward … to extend a pipeline network to all parts of Iraq…

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Under the guidance of Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi for the process of development and progress in all state institutions and its ministries, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil continues to achieve great achievements in the time of its minister, the independent oil expert Jabbar al-Luaibi, stressing the ministry’s intention to build a pipeline network to transport oil products to all parts of the country instead of costly and dangerous transport that is carried out by oil tankers.
Iraq, which is the second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia within OPEC, had a wide network of pipelines for the export of crude, and lines for the transfer of oil through it to Syria, and to the coast of Lebanon on the Mediterranean, and another to the coast of Turkey on the Mediterranean, largely avoiding the Kurdistan region, and the third line to the Red Sea via Saudi Arabia.
Most of the other routes that have been carrying crude have been closed or destroyed during the last 35 years as a result of wars and conflicts.
The only oil pipeline working now is the one connecting the Kurdistan region of Iraq to the Turkish coast on the Mediterranean Sea.
The network, which the Ministry of Oil intends to extend, is part of a strategic plan to facilitate the process of transporting oil within pipelines transporting crude and petroleum products between the country’s provinces and neighboring countries.
Al-Luaibi stressed the acceleration of the establishment of an integrated system of pipelines to transport oil derivatives to cover all governorates of Iraq, and achieve high flow in the process of pumping and transportation of these products to meet the needs of Iraqi cities, saving effort, time and expenses.
Al-Aluaibi formed a high-level committee under the chairmanship of the under secretary of the ministry for Extractive Affairs to develop an integrated study of this project linking the governorates and cities of Iraq in the north, center and south with an integrated system of transport lines of oil derivatives and this committee should submit recommendations and proposals at the end of the current month in order to speed up and set the appropriate road map to implement this strategic and vital project through investment.
Al-Allaibi stressed Iraq’s need for an integrated pipeline system for the transportation of oil derivatives, as well as the existence of tanks and pumping stations in the main cities that cover the needs of the country instead of transport operations by tankers, which constitutes an additional financial burden and cause risks and problems.
Al-Luaibi said that the repeated sabotage operations that hit the infrastructure of the crude oil pipelines and pipelines of the oil exports by the terrorist gangs, and the length of the economic siege that Iraq has lived without maintenance of the pipes have greatly affected the activities of the ministry in this field.
Al-Luaibi said that the ministry is working with the determination of its employees and their determination to promote the oil sector, reduce damage and work to restore what was sabotaged by terrorist gangs.
Earlier this month, the ministry announced a plan to build pipelines to Iran, while Allaibi confirmed the agreement between Iraq and Iran to exchange about 60 thousand barrels of crude oil per day from Kirkuk oil fields in northern Iraq in return for Iranian oil.
He said Allaibi that the agreement signed between the two sides requires that the Iranian side to hand over the”same quantities and the same specifications through the ports of southern Iraq.”
The deal allows Iraq to resume oil sales from the Kirkuk fields, which have been suspended since Iraqi forces regained control of Kurdish fields in October.
Al-Luaibi stressed that between 30,000 and 60,000 barrels of Kirkuk crude will be transported by trucks to the border region of Kermanshah, where an Iranian refinery is located.
He added the two countries planned to build a pipeline to transport oil from Kirkuk to avoid the transport by trucks. It is hoped that the pipeline will replace the existing export route from Kirkuk to Turkey and the Mediterranean by pipeline.
In the same context of the development process and expansion of foreign investment, Al-Luaibi expressed the desire of Qatar Petroleum Company to invest and implement development projects in the sectors of gas, extraction and refining, infrastructure and petrochemicals.
Al-Luaibi said that CEO of Qatar Petroleum Saad Al-Kaabi expressed his company’s desire to invest and implement development projects in the Iraqi oil sector in cooperation, partnership and alliance with international specialized companies.
Al-Allaibi promised to provide all the possibilities and requirements for the success of the Qatari company in Iraq.
This came during a meeting with Qatari Energy Minister Mohammed Al-Sada and Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad Sharida Al-Kaabi on the sidelines of OPEC and OAPEC meetings recently held in Vienna and Kuwait respectively.
For his part, Al-Allaibi welcomed Qatari investments, Qatar Petroleum Company in Iraq and all Arab and foreign companies wishing to invest and execute development projects in the Iraqi oil sector, which has become a promising investment environment attracting investments and solid international companies.
Al-Luaibi said that Iraq is working to provide the means of success of the work of international companies and cooperation with them to achieve common goals and interests, especially after the expulsion of the terrorist ISIS from Iraqi territory. The Ministry of Oil seeks to attract international investments to develop the oil and gas industry and the refinery sector and infrastructure to achieve the highest economic return for Iraq.
In the same context, the Ministry of Oil invited the international companies to participate in the investment and develop nine border patches and fields with Iran and Kuwait, as Alaibi stressed to start working on the construction of a pipeline to transport oil from Kirkuk in the north of the country to the Turkish port of Ceyhan with a length of 400 kilometers, and from it to various oil importing countries.

Shatha Khalil
Researcher in Economic Unit
Raabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies