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Iran and Iraq reach agreement for pipeline

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World Pipelines,

Iran says it has reached an agreement with Iraq to construct a pipeline that would export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran.

The announcement was made by Iran’s Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh after a meeting with his visiting Iraqi counterpart Jabbar al-Luaibi.

Agreements were reached between the two ministers about an international company that will carry out a feasibility study of the project.

Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding in February that envisaged exporting Iraqi oil through the Iranian territory – a scheme that would remove Baghdad’s reliance on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to export its oil through a pipeline to Turkey.

Iran is also due to begin exporting gas to the Iraqi city of Basra in the coming months.

Currently, Kirkuk’s oil is exported through the KRG’s pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan port. Under an agreement between Erbil and Baghdad made last year, half of the revenues of sales of Kirkuk’s oil go to the Kurdistan Region.

Oil-rich Kirkuk is claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil. Two of its oil fields are under the control of the KRG and three are run by Iraq’s North Oil Company (NOC). Peshmerga of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) took control over NOC offices in Kirkuk in February.

Kirkuk will take part in the referendum this fall, deciding whether they want to remain with Iraq or join Kurdistan’s bid for independence. 

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