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Energy minister meets Iraqi counterpart over oil deals

Officials review Basra-Aqaba pipeline project, expected to pump 1 million barrels of oil a day

By JT - Jul 12,2019 - Last updated at Jul 12,2019

Energy Minister Hala Zawati and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil Thamir Ghadhban (third from left) on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Energy Minister Hala Zawati and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy and Minister of Oil Thamir Ghadhban on Thursday in Baghdad discussed the latest developments pertaining to a pipeline to export Iraqi to oil through the Aqaba Port.

Ghadhban acquainted Zawati with a recent Iraqi Cabinet decision endorsing the project to build the pipeline, which would export oil from the Rmeilah oil fields in Basra to Aqaba Port, according to a ministry statement. 

Zawati highlighted the importance of the project that aims to transfer around 1 million barrels oil a day to Aqaba.

The minister noted that the Iraqi Cabinet’s decision will be followed by a signing agreement between the two countries before the pipeline will be installed. 

She also highlighted a ministerial meeting that was held in Baghdad in February under the chairmanship of both countries’ prime ministers, where they agreed to move forward with the project and grant Jordan the right to buy 150,000 barrels of oil transferred through the $5-billion pipeline. 

Zawati said that both sides also discussed the latest updates regarding a plan to provide Jordan with 10,000 barrels of Iraqi crude oil daily, noting that oil will start being exported to the Kingdom before the end of the month. 

In January, Iraq approved a plan to provide Jordan with 10,000 barrels of oil daily from Baiji in Iraq to the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company.

Burj Al Hayat Transport and Trading Co. won the oil shipping tender earlier in May, and has since finished obtaining 600 visas for drivers from both countries (300 Jordanians and 300 Iraqis), and will apply for more in the future. 

The tender for transporting the crude oil was floated by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in March in implementation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Jordan and Iraq in early February to import Iraqi oil.

Under the MoU, the oil will cover 7 per cent of the Kingdom’s daily demand.

The agreement stipulates that Jordan will receive 10,000 barrels of Iraqi crude oil with a discount of $16 from the price of Brent crude per barrel, to cover the difference of transport costs and deviations in specifications.

Also on Thursday, Amman and Baghdad agreed on a timetable to implement a Jordanian-Iraqi electrical connection to supply Iraq with electricity from the Kingdom’s grid by the end of 2021, according to a second Energy Ministry statement.

In this regard, Zawati, during a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay Khatteeb, said that the first phase of the project includes installing a high-voltage line connecting Iraq’s western region (Al Qaim) with the Kingdom’s eastern region (Al Risha) at the cost of $140 million. 

Each country will be responsible for establishing and administrating the project in their respective territory.

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