Iraq calls on Turkish companies to participate in new oil pipeline project

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The Iraqi central government will build a new oil pipeline from the northern city of Kirkuk to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. To that end, it has sent a letter to some of the Turkish companies experienced in the construction of energy and oil pipelines in January, including Limak and Tekfen, and invited them to participate in the new oil pipeline project, according to a report in the Turkish Habertürk daily.

The report said it was stated in the letter that the construction of the new oil pipeline between Kirkuk and Faysh Khabur was planned to be carried out with the build-operate-transfer (BOT) method.

It was also said if interested in the project, the relevant companies were asked to send a letter of intent to Baghdad within the envisaged period. Sources from Limak have noted that they have received such a letter and that it has been examined.

Sources who closely follow the energy sector emphasized that the daily capacity of the new pipeline would be 1 million barrels, and that it would start from Iraq's Saladdin province, expand over Kirkuk and Mosul to the Faysh Khabur region and then reach Turkey.

Speaking of the reasons for the need for a new oil pipeline, sources said serious problems were emerging in the pipeline which is passing through the regions controlled for years by the Daesh terror group, adding that flow in the line frequently stops and that it does not seem possible for the line to work economically. The region where the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline was located was seized by Daesh in 2014, and the region was taken back by Iraqi forces in October. In the process, both oil pipelines passing through the provinces have become irrecoverable. For this reason, a third pipeline will be installed on the same route.

The first tanker embarked in 1977 in the Kirkuk-Ceyhan line, which was taken into operation in 1976. The capacity was increased by more than two times with various projects, reaching 70.9 million tons/year of crude oil in 1987.

The remaining part of the line within the borders of Turkey, whose operational rights are held by the Petroleum Pipeline Corporation Company (BOTAŞ), is automatically controlled via a telecommunication system and the main control centers in the two countries. According to the BOTAŞ data, around 26.1 million tons (189.4 million barrels) of crude oil was transported through this line.

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