Iraq Plan to Fix Oil Pipeline to Turkey Bypasses, Isolates Kurds

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Iraq’s oil minister ordered urgent repairs to a disused pipeline from northern fields to a Turkish port, a step that could eliminate the central government’s need to export crude via Iraq’s Kurdish region and further isolate the independence-seeking Kurds.

Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi directed the North Oil Co. and State Co. for Oil Projects to complete repairs on the pipeline from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, the ministry said in an emailed statement. The link, once an artery for crude exports from Iraq’s oldest producing fields, hasn’t operated for years due to sabotage in areas occupied until recently by Islamic State militants. 

Iraq wants to restore the pipeline’s export capacity of 250,000 to 400,000 barrels a day and possibly boost volumes in the future, the ministry said. Iraqi security forces regained control of the pipeline and surrounding territory after advancing against Islamic State late last year. The oil ministry didn’t say when repairs on the link, which would connect at the border with a Turkish pipeline, would be completed.



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