Turkey and Iraq discussed the construction of a new oil pipeline to run parallel with the existing Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline, also known as the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, during a meeting between Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister and Iraq's Oil Minister in Baghdad on Wednesday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Iraq's Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban in Baghdad, Turkey's Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said they availed of the opportunity to consider and assess the possibility of new bilateral projects, namely an oil pipeline and electricity power line.
Donmez said that oil produced in the north of Iraq could be transited securely and speedily via an Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline to global markets while also opening up new markets, particularly in the Mediterranean, through the Ceyhan terminal located in Turkey's Mediterranean region.
'The Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline is in a position to take on the big task of carrying oil resources not only in the north of Iraq but also to other regions in the market. They [Iraq officials] spoke about new projects and we welcome them,' Donmez said.
He asserted that the Turkey-Iraq partnership, which is already well established in various areas, could be further built on for electricity.
'There was a limited amount of trade between Turkey and Iraq in electricity. We want to further expand this trade. As Turkey, we are ready to provide the necessary support for Iraq's electricity infrastructure, including in construction and equipment,' he said.
The construction of a new electricity line will be further discussed between Turkey's energy minister and Iraq's Electricity Minister Luay al-Khateeb, Ghadhban said.
The existing Iraq-Turkey pipeline stretches almost 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from Kirkuk to Turkey's southeastern port of Ceyhan in the Mediterranean Sea.
Ghadhban said that the meeting held on Wednesday was a follow up and evaluation of decisions taken at the meeting between Iraq's Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, and an oil and gas committee with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in May.
'During the meeting with Donmez, we told the minister about Iraqi Oil Ministry's intention to construct a new oil pipeline to carry Iraq's crude oil from Kirkuk to the Turkish border on the old route, with the Iraqi government's approval,' he said.
This proposed oil pipeline is set to have the capacity to carry oil resources both from the north and south of Iraq and be linked to the Basra-Aqaba pipeline, according to Ghadhban.
The planned 1,700 kilometer-long Basra-Aqaba pipeline will transit oil from Iraq’s southern city of Basra to the Jordanian port city of Aqaba on the Red Sea's Gulf, with a planned transfer capacity of 1 million barrels of oil per day. The project is awaiting approval from Iraq’s Council of Ministers.
By Ebru Sengul