Iraq upgrades pipeline network

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has announced that it has embarked on a USD 50 billion upgrading of its oil and gas export pipeline network, as a part of  Baghdad’s plans to boost oil production to 11 million to12 million bpd from the current 2.3 million bpd. Iraq and Syria have disclosed plans to build as many as three new cross-border pipelines, two for oil and one for gas. These would also start from Kirkuk and run to Syria’s Mediterranean port of Banias. The planned outlets would have a capacity of 2.5 million bpd, 52% more crude than runs through the existing Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. Together they would provide the infrastructure for a major boost to Iraq’s export potential to markets in Europe and the US. Baghdad also aims to build an oil pipeline to neighboring Jordan, which has no energy resources of its own and long depended on Iraqi oil. Iraq expects to sign contracts on the engineering consultancy phase by early May at the latest. Build-operate-transfer contracts should be tendered in 2012. All together the plan is to add some 4375mi of pipeline across the country. The first phase includes a 400mi oil pipeline with a capacity of 1.75 million bpd from Basra, to Haditha in Anbar province in the northwest. From there, one line would run on westward to Syria and the other merge with the northern export pipeline to Turkey.

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