Cabinet OKs Iran-Syria Pipelines

By John Lee.

Iraq's Cabinet has authorized the Oil Ministry "to sign an agreement of principles" on two key oil and natural gas pipeline projects, reports Platts.

The agreement will be between the Iraqi Oil Ministry, the Iranian Oil Ministry, and the Syrian Oil and Mineral Resources Ministry, and it relates to the construction of a gas pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria and onwards to Europe. The line could also be used to export Iraqi gas.

In July last year, Iran, Iraq and Syria singed an MoU for the gas pipelines, with Iran’s deputy oil minister Javad Ouji saying that the project would take three to five years and cost about $10 billion, according to AFP.

Ouji said in July that the project calls for the construction of a 56-inch (142 centimeter) pipeline with a capacity of 110 million cubic meters a day, connecting southern Iranian port of Assalouyeh to Iraq and then to Syria, with the possibility of extending to Lebanon and Europe.

A proposed oil pipeline from Basra to Haditha and onward into Syria and the Jordanian port of Aqaba is another massive project intended to send 1 million bpd to Aqaba by 2016. It is understood that Iraq will hold off on the Syrian part of that project until the political uncertainty and violence in Syria has calmed down.

The Basra-Haditha-Aqaba pipeline would be 1,680 kilometers (1,043 miles) according to a presentation given by the Iraqi-hired project consultant SNC-Lavalin to potential investors in the oil pipeline, and it would cost an estimated $5 billion.

The 2.25-million bpd line from Basra to the pumping station at Hadithab is to be built on an EPC (engineer, procure and construct) contract, while the 750,000- to 1-million bpd line from Haditha to Aqaba wll be on a 20-year BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) contract.

(Sources: Platts, AFP)

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