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Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told Al-Monitor that Iraq is pursuing a policy of multiple export outlets and seeks to provide everything necessary to ensure the continued flow of oil to world markets in parallel with the increase in production. .
He pointed out that "the Iraqi government is in the process of studying the tenders for the new pipeline between Iraq and Turkey after the completion of technical and engineering studies," likely to start work on the new pipeline project next year, said: "Iraq's crude oil exports last month amounted to 111 million And 706 barrels of which 3.6 million across the line between Kirkuk and Turkey, and the Ministry of Oil seeks to increase oil exported through the ports of the Mediterranean.
The Iraqi government expects the new pipeline to have a capacity of about 1 million barrels per day, replacing the old and dilapidated pipeline, which began operating in 1976, but has been subjected to ongoing sabotage operations, the latest of which was carried out by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (Turkish opposition) in 2015, which caused losses It was estimated at $ 500 million.
The disruption of Iranian oil due to US sanctions and the end of the grace period granted by Washington to Ankara in May is the most important reason behind the idea of the pipeline between Kirkuk and Turkey, where the Turkish government has already announced work on the restoration of the old oil pipeline, but the committee set up by Turkish President Recep In May, Erdogan recommended building a pipeline capable of replacing Iranian oil.
A source familiar with the agreement to extend the new oil pipeline to "Al-Monitor" that "the reasons for the establishment of the pipeline is not only related to the deterioration of the old pipeline, there is an important political aspect related to the deal, is the control of oil exported abroad without the consent of the Iraqi government," pointing out that "The Kurdistan Regional Government exports oil through the old line that passes through the territory of the region without the consent of the federal authorities sometimes. After covering the need of Turkey from the new line, Erbil will not be able to practice exporting alone."
The source added that the agreement is likely to be linked to the case filed by the Iraqi government against Ankara in the international courts, which ruled in compensation for Baghdad estimated at $ 26 billion due to the import of Iraqi oil from Kurdistan without Baghdad's approval during the past years.
The federal government in Baghdad agreed with the government of Erbil to deliver 250 thousand barrels per day to the National Oil Company "SOMO" in exchange for receiving the salaries of the region from the federal budget, but the Kurdish side did not abide by the agreement due to the debt owed to the region in favor of international oil companies that left the country after The ISIS occupation of Mosul and the Kirkuk measure and the Kirkuk-Turkey pipeline was vandalized and stopped working.
The Ministry of Oil in the Iraqi government in May for the Kurdish region to export 600 thousand barrels per day, which was confirmed by the Parliamentary Integrity Committee by MP Khalid Jawad in a statement to the agency "information" on September 4, saying: "The province is currently exporting 461 thousand barrels per day reported, in addition to 150 thousand barrels per day smuggling method for the purpose of non-registration. "
He pointed out that "the average daily exports of Kurdistan from three provinces up to more than 600 thousand barrels per day."