Iraq to Build New Oil Pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan

Iraq to Build New Oil Pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan

 The government of Iraq will build a new pipeline to export crude oil from northern Kirkuk to Turkey’s Ceyhan port, a ministry spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Oil, Asim Jihad, said in a statement on Sunday (November 26) that minister Jabbar al-Luaibi has invited companies and related institutions from the ministry to prepare documents specific to the creation of the pipeline.

An older pipeline was "too damaged from attacks by Daesh terrorist gangs to be rehabilitated," Jihad added, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (ISIS).

Iraq had exported 250,000 to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) through that pipeline before ISIS militants swept across large parts of the country in 2014.

The new pipeline is to stretch for around 250 kilometers (150 miles) from the area of Baiji, in the province of Saladin to the south of Kirkuk, to the Fishkhabur border post with Turkey further north.

Earlier this month, the oil minister said Iraq aimed to double the output of Kirkuk oilfields to one million bpd after retaking the province from Kurdish forces in October.

Iraqi government and paramilitary forces moved in to take over Kirkuk and its oilfields after Kurds in September voted for independence in a controversial referendum opposed by Baghdad.

Iraqi forces have driven ISIS fighters from all towns they once held in the country and are pressing a final push to flush them out from the western desert bordering Syria.