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‘Iraq parliament supports Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline project’

By Mohammad Ghazal - May 18,2014 - Last updated at May 18,2014

AMMAN — Iraq’s parliament fully supports a project to build an $18 billion pipeline to export crude oil from Basra to Jordan’s port city of Aqaba, Adnan Al Janabi, chairman of its energy committee, said Sunday.

“We are very supportive of this strategic project with Jordan, which will greatly help Iraq increase its oil exports across the world,” Janabi told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of the Iraq Future Energy Forum, attended by representatives from several international companies in the field of oil and gas.

The 1,680-kilometre double pipeline will pump one million barrels of oil a day from Basra on the Arabian Gulf to Aqaba Port, and around 258 million cubic feet of gas. 

The Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline, which is expected to be operational late in 2017, will provide Jordan with 150,000 barrels of- oil per day, while the rest will be exported through Aqaba, generating an estimated $3 billion a year in revenues for the Kingdom. 

Approximately 100 million cubic feet of natural gas will fulfil Jordan’s gas requirements and the rest will be used in pumping stations along the double pipeline. 

Janabi announced Sunday that negotiations are under way between Iraq and Jordan to build a refinery in Aqaba to be jointly financed by the public and private sectors in the two countries.

“The refinery will help facilitate the export of the oil and bring great benefits to the two countries,” he said.

Baghdad has recently shortlisted 12 international companies to build the pipeline, according to Iraqi officials and the State Company for Oil Projects is expected to invite these firms to submit their offers by November or December.

Abdulilah Al Amir, technical adviser to Hussain Al Shahristani, who is deputy prime minister for energy affairs, said the project will help absorb the increasing quantities of oil produced in Basra.

Iraq’s production of oil averaged about three million barrels per day in 2013, and the number is growing as the government is working on mega-projects to develop and increase production, Amir said.

The increase in production is coupled with work on strategic projects such as the Basra-Aqaba pipeline, which will significantly increase Iraq’s oil exports, he added.

Iraq’s production of oil is expected to reach 4.9 million barrels per day in 2015 and 9 million barrels per day in 2020, according to Amir. 

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