Turkey to help Iraq build more oil, gas pipelines
Ankara, May 11, 2013
Opec member Iraq will need new oil pipelines to export its crude to world markets as it prepares to raise production, and Turkey is keen to help its neighbour build the infrastructure, said Turkey's Energy Minister.
Iraq, the world's fastest-growing oil exporter, aims to boost the 2.4 million barrels per day of oil it ships to world markets this year, mostly by increasing output from the fields around the disputed northern oil city of Kirkuk in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
The opening of new export outlets and investment by foreign companies at the southern oil fields around Basra, where the vast majority of Iraqi oil is located, have boosted Iraqi shipments.
But Taner Yildiz said once Iraq's capacity increases, existing infrastructure will be insufficient.
"The outlets via Basra are not enough for such a capacity, so nothing is more natural than the construction of new pipelines," Yildiz told an energy conference in Istanbul.
"And Turkey will make the biggest contribution here."
Currently only a fraction of the 1.5 million bpd-capacity Iraq-Turkey pipeline from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean hub of Ceyhan is used as Iraq exports most of its oil from the south.
Ankara and Baghdad have in the past discussed building more pipelines but the projects have failed to gain traction. Their differing stances on the Syrian crisis, the Kurdish region of Iraq and other issues has soured diplomatic ties in recent years.
Sitting on 8.5 billion barrels of crude reserves, Iraq has been described as the "next Saudi Arabia," even though its ambitious export targets of more than 7 million bpd by the end of the decade are threatened by political instability.
Turkish companies were part of the five consortiums in southern Iraq that have secured projects worth $25 billion, Yildiz said.
He also added that the Iraqi Kurdistan region in the north is also a natural area for cooperation.
Resource-hungry Turkey has been increasingly courting Iraqi Kurds, who are at loggerheads with the central government over how to exploit the country's oil reserves and share the revenue.
Ankara and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have been negotiating energy deals ranging from exploration to exporting since last year -- a move that has antagonised Baghdad which says it alone has the authority to control exports and sign contracts.
"Just like Iraq's south, Iraq's north is a natural area for projects," Yildiz said.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul also discussed Iraq's energy resources in a speech at the same conference. New infrastructure to carry Iraq's oil via Turkey would be crucial for European markets, he said.
"New oil and gas pipelines that will be constructed parallel to Iraq's north-south lines would allow Iraq's resources to be shipped to both our country and to Europe," Gul said. "This will be crucial for Iraq to reach secure markets," he added.-Reuters
More Energy, Oil & Gas Stories
- Total unit inks Elf Lubricants agreement
- Opec raises forecast for 2014 global oil demand
- Mitsui joins DME as trading member
- GE Power Conversion wins major SEC order
- Basra Light crude exports to rebound in April
- Aramco to produce unconventional gas for projects
- Alstom opens smart grid centre in Dubai
- Experts discuss key geosciences issues
- Egypt to permit factories to use coal for energy
- ME oil, gas transaction value up 15pc
- Victrex to showcase new product in Paris
- Aramco JV puts off giant refinery overhaul to 2015
- Libya threatens to bomb N Korean tanker
- Bahrain 'producing 850MW of surplus power'
- 2,000 experts for Bahrain geosciences summit
- Libyan rebels start oil exports, bypassing govt
- Dubai drilling company set for London IPO
- Opec output soars on higher Iraq exports
- S Korea to pay Iran $550m under nuke deal
- Qatar LPG exports will stay unchanged till 2018
- $14bn Bahrain energy sector focus for summit
- Iraq now world's fastest-growing oil exporter
- Old IT systems pose risk to oil firms
- Thomson Reuters adds commodity monitoring tool
- Oil below $90 to hit GCC economies
- GlassPoint appoints new Oman director
- Sheffield company opens Dubai hub
- Oman targets big rise in gas output
- Intertek buys UAE firm for $66m
- Qaiwan to tender Baizan refinery EPC contract