Turkey’s Peace Spring Operation in Syria will strengthen energy infrastructure security in the region, Political think tank BILGESAM Research Coordinator Ali Semin told Anadolu Agency.
The operation will particularly shield the new Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline that crosses near the Syrian border, Semin noted.
The new pipeline plans to deliver 1 million barrels per day, up from the current volume of around 300,000 barrels per day through the current pipeline.
This is good news for boosting bilateral trade between Turkey and Iraq in the face of U.S. sanctions on Iran, which has curtailed Turkey’s oil imports, Semin said.
“The U.S. sanctions on Iran affect Turkey since Turkey cannot receive oil supplies from Iran anymore. Thanks to the new Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline with more capacity, Turkey will be able to restock its supplies,” he said.
Iraq’s daily oil output is around 5 million barrels, and with the new pipeline, Turkey will not only secure its demand but also take an important step towards its role as an energy transit country in the future, earning around $1 per barrel for transit.
Semin argues that the clearance of the groups; namely the PYD/YPG, deemed a terrorist group by the U.K., U.S. and Europe jointly, in north Syria will allow for more secure supplies via Iraq which will also give Turkey the upper hand against competition from Iran.
-Cooperation over gas, electricity and water
Gas cooperation will also be beneficial through the military intervention, Semin said.
Turkey needs to diversify its gas sources with Iraq offering alternative supply sources in the future.
According to OPEC, Iraq has the 11th largest natural gas proven reserves with 3,729 billion cubic meters. However, Iraq at the moment is unable to export natural gas due to a lack of sufficient infrastructure.
Turkey supplies electricity to the Iraqi city of Duhok and aims to extend this electricity line up to Mosul, a task that can only happen in a more peaceful environment.
Water is also a key resource for cooperation between Turkey and Iraq.
Turkey built the Ilisu Dam near the Iraq border, which started operations in February 2018, however, in July this year it went out of service due to water shortages in the country.
Iraq has for many decades battled water shortages. This culminated this summer in a crisis in Basra when at least 118,000 people were hospitalized due to symptoms doctors identified as related to water quality, according to Human Rights Watch.
“One barrel of water will equal to one barrel of oil in the future," Semin said.
By Talha Yavuz