Syria, Iraq to build pipeline

September 20, 2010

BAGHDAD (Dispatches) -- Syria and Iraq have signed an initial agreement to build two crude oil pipelines to the Mediterranean Sea, an Iraqi official said.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the larger pipeline with a 1.5 million barrel daily capacity would carry heaver crudes and the smaller pipeline with a 1.25 million daily capacity would carry lighter crude oil, the Global Arab Network Web site reported Sunday.
The Iraqi spokesman said a third pipeline for gas, already approved by his government, will also be constructed by the two countries in the future.
Officials from the two countries’ oil ministries recently signed an MoU to build two oil pipelines and Iraq’s first international gas pipeline, the Senior Deputy Oil Minister for Upstream operations Abdul Karim al-Luaybi was quoted in Baghdad recently by Bloomberg. The pipelines would originate at oil fields near Kirkuk in northern Iraq and terminate at Syria’s port of Banias on the Mediterranean Sea.
The agreement comes as Iraq, home to the world’s third- biggest oil reserves, seeks to more than double its current crude production of 2.345 million barrels a day. The oil ministry expects to boost daily production by about 13 percent, or 300,000 barrels a day, in the next year alone, said Abdul Mahdy al-Ahmeedi, deputy director general at Iraq’s Petroleum Contracts and Licensing Directorate.
The Iraqi government has signed a series of agreements with major international oil companies to increase its crude oil production capacity in the next seven years, with the aim of raising Iraq's oil production to a 12 million barrel daily capacity, the report by Global Arab Network Web site said.
Iraq sells much of its oil to customers in Asia, shipping through the Persian Gulf from a terminal south of Basrah. The planned pipelines through Syria would provide Iraq with an additional export outlet to markets in Europe and the United States and complement its only operational cross-border pipeline, an aging artery from Kirkuk to Ceyhan, Turkey.
Elsewhere, the semi-autonomous Kurdish province of northern Iraq aims to more than double its oil export capacity this year and plans a $1 billion pipeline to send crude to global markets, the Kurdish region’s Natural Resource Minister Ashti Hawrami told a conference in London on March 24. Photo: Iraq and Syria agreed to build pipeline to the Mediterranean.