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Jordan calls for speeding up implementation of Iraq pipeline

By JT - Jan 09,2014 - Last updated at Jan 09,2014

AMMAN — Jordan attaches great importance to expediting the implementation of a project to extend an oil pipeline from Basra in Iraq to Aqaba, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said on Thursday.

At a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Oil Abdul Karim Al Luaibi in the capital, Ensour said Iraq’s stability and security is an issue of great importance to the region’s stability, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Discussions focused on the proposed oil pipeline project and the stages achieved so far, regarding related studies and the tenders that are to be awarded within the next few months.

The project entails providing the Kingdom with 150,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis at prices that the two countries agree on, with the remainder to be exported via the Port of Aqaba.

The $18 billion pipeline, which is projected to transport 2.25 million barrels of oil per day through the Kingdom, would generate between $2 billion and $3 billion a year in revenues for the Kingdom, according to estimates of Iraqi and Jordanian officials.

Ensour said the private sector should participate in implementing the project, highlighting the possibility of extending the pipeline to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

Luaibi said the project will be economically beneficial to both Amman and Baghdad, pointing to the potential of establishing an oil refinery and an electricity generation station in Aqaba, some 330km south of the capital.

In remarks to the Lower House in late December last year, Ensour said the Iraqi side has the blueprints for the pipeline in place and will start implementation by the end of January.

The ministers of industry and energy, Hatem Halawani and Mohammad Hamed, also attended Thursday’s meeting.

Hamed met separately with Luaibi to outline the framework of Jordanian-Iraqi cooperation in the oil sector.

The ministers asserted the importance of stepping up bilateral cooperation in the energy sector.

In a statement following the meeting, Hamed said discussions focused on all issues related to increasing the quantities of crude oil exported to Jordan, improving its specifications and also increasing the amounts of heavy fuel oil imported by the Kingdom.

Moreover, the two officials discussed the proposed oil pipeline project and later signed the meeting’s minutes.

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