Levels of environmental pollution increased due to terrorist operations against oil pipelines, resulting in clouds of smoke and oil deposited in the soil, which affects its fertility and endangers the lives of people, animals and plants.
Zaher al-Abadi, a member of parliament’s oil committee, admitted that projects of energy transmission and exploration in Iraq have caused environmental problems. He told Al-Monitor, “It is not possible to find alternatives to laying pipelines other than farmlands.”
“The Ministry of Oil confiscates about 75 meters (246 feet) [of land] on each side of all pipelines, which is a space that does not affect the rest of the farmlands through which the pipes pass,” Abadi added. He explained that the ministry compensates farmers for the parts confiscated and allows them to use the rest of the lands they own freely.
Abadi also revealed a project that aims at compensating those affected by allocating new farmlands “for those who want.”
Abadi considers that the best solution is when the ministries of Justice, Agriculture, Electricity, Finance and Oil cooperate to come out with a new strategy to invest in lands through energy transmission and exploration companies. “Work on putting a new cooperation approach is well underway. The permanent solution lies in applying a coexistence strategy between agriculture and oil as well as legislating laws that protect people’s rights and prevent causing damage to agriculture and archaeological sites,” he added.