Iraq approves renewal of Turkey oil pipeline deal

The agreement is expected to be signed during a trip by Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz to Baghdad, scheduled for March 22.

Iraq approves renewal of Turkey oil pipeline deal

Iraq has agreed with Turkey to renew an accord to operate an oil pipeline from its northern oilfields near Kirkuk to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday.

"Iraq has approved to renew the Kirkuk-Ceyhan agreement after agreeing on some changes and amendments", Iraq's deputy oil minister, Ahmed al-Shamma, told Reuters.

Shamma said the two sides had agreed on new transit fees and upgrades to the pipeline.

"There is an Iraqi delegation in Turkey now, headed by a deputy oil minister, to finalise the deal."

The agreement is expected to be signed during a trip by Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz to Baghdad, scheduled for March 22, said a Turkish Energy Ministry official who declined to be named.

An agreement between Baghdad and Ankara that governs the operation of the 970-km (600-mile) pipeline, which transports about a quarter of all Iraqi oil exports, expires this month.

Turkish officials said talks with Baghdad on extending the accord began last year.

The deal will include a guarantee from Baghdad on the flow of oil in the pipeline, the Turkish Energy Ministry official said.

Flows are sometimes halted due to maintenance problems or sabotage and poor security left the link mostly idle between 2003 and 2007 after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The double-pipe link has a capacity of 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) but normally carries about 500,000 bpd.

The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline first opened in 1977.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Mart 2010, 15:39

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