BAGHDAD: On Sunday Iraq signed a deal with Turkey to extend for 15 years the use of the main pipeline linking its northern oilfields to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
Hussein al-Shahristani, the Iraqi Oil Minister said “We have signed a deal to extend use of the pipeline for 15 years,” at the signing ceremony, which was also attended by Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz.
Shahristani said Ankara had given assurances it would not allow the pipeline’s oil to be seized by a third party, and noted the price Baghdad paid to use it had risen to one dollar from 75 cents per barrel.
The quantity of crude being transported along the pipeline would top one million barrels per day (bpd) in the “next few years” from current levels of 450,000-640,000 bpd, he added .
The pipeline runs from Iraq’s northern oil hub of Kirkuk to Ceyhan, the Turkish port from where the crude is shipped to world markets by tanker. The pipeline is 970-kilometre (600-mile) in lenght.