Iraq-Jordan $18bn Pipeline - Reality or Fantasy?

By John Lee.

Commenting in on the newly-announced, $18-billion pipeline from Iraq to Jordan, John C.K. Daly says that while it is easy to understand the appeal of such a project in energy-starved Jordan, the geopolitical issues remain significant and seemingly unresolved.

The 1,043 mile-long dual pipeline would be capable of transporting one million barrels of oil and 258 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iraq to Jordan's Aqaba port (pictured) on the Red Sea. Iraqi officials say the pipeline, which includes extending a sub-line to Jordan’s sole refinery in Zarqa, will be operational by the end of 2017.

Daly says that this would be the world’s most expensive pipeline project, but poses the question: Why does Baghdad simply not upgrade its oil infrastructure facilities leading to Basra and its offshore oil export platforms there?

Rather than taking the shortest route between Basra and Aqaba, which would cross Saudi Arabia, the pipelines are planned to snake through the "central heart of the Sunni insurgency and western Iraq, where al Qaeda remnants supporting the Syrian rebels are active, resulting in a huge horseshoe shape, before finally descending into Aqaba".


4 Responses to Iraq-Jordan $18bn Pipeline - Reality or Fantasy?

  1. Konstantin 17th April 2013 at 06:40 #

    1) Why not to develop Basra route? It is being developed With the new SPMs , pipelines and terminals this destination will handle aprx 6 mln bbl a day in 2016, there are some natural limitatuion in further expansion one of which very narrow cost line and therefore not enough space to accomodate marine traffic from other SPMs

    2)It is critically important for Iraq have an alternative export route. Country can not depend on only one destination of oil export ( example- Hormuz problems) So Iraqi are correct taking that project and once implement the Republic will be more independent in their crude oil deliveries

    3) why it is horse shoe but not direct line? This pipeline will feed also some central part of Iraq domestic refineries and connects some local fields, so it must go there. Another reason that it may be also flexible in terms of further expansion to Syria or to Turkey. This further development I am sure happen as Iraq need more export capacities and 1 mln bbl a day pipeline will not be enough to satisfy Iraqi ambisious plans for oil export.

    To roll it up - dont need to teach Iraqi how they have to arrange their export capacities. This issue is quite logical, politically and business reasoned so I sincere wish Iraqi colleagues success in implementing their plans for best interest of Republic and IOCs working in Iraq.

  2. Lorenzo 18th April 2013 at 08:11 #

    I fully agree with you Konstantin. The natural routes for distributing oil and gas from Iraq is Basra and Turkey for the Asian and European markets. The infrastructure is already there and in case of improvement needs, the expansion and/or reparation can not be as huge as the creation of new pipelines.
    I think that the new Baghdad projected pipelines or announced pipelines are just desinformation from something more serious. It is just not make sense with the pipelines to Turkey and the harbour of Basra!
    I have a dream...... and this is that politicians and politics shoud stay out of business and let the business rationale prevail. What an achievement would that be for Iraq!

  3. marco 18th April 2013 at 10:09 #

    Fool,why not, how will the Al Maliki ministers get their kick back money in dollar, with such a big contract there bound to be huge kickback. First of all they should spend this money in rebuilding their refineries and upgrade other routes which already exist. Secondly which is most important why is the country relying on dollar when they can stengthen their own currency, cause they have to help Iran which is on strict UN observation and supply them will all the dollar requirement which is happening now.

  4. Uruki-the-Iraqi 19th April 2013 at 00:26 #

    Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, the largest state company in Iraq, employs 60,000+ expert Iraqis in all sectors (from professional Petroleum Engineers, Economists, Security Personnel and all sorts of Foremen and other task workforces to Iraq’s vast oil fields) have the capacity, the willingness, the motive, the desire and the necessary FORCE to plan, implement and secure the future of Iraq’s oil (upstream and downstream) and provide all of Iraq’s 18 provinces with all the needed energy for the next 150 years and beyond (BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY)… It is not up to Al-Maliki or any other ELECTED future PMs to imagine or dream this Iraq-Jordan pipeline for their own personal financial gains (as some foolishly suggest here)… Iraq by planning this horse shoe pipeline, first and foremost, is preparing to lift the standards of living for all Iraqis (For Everyone’s Information, Local Iraqi priorities come before foreign ones) and lay down infrastructure plans to provide electricity, water, roads, trains, airports, sea ports, hospitals, schools, agriculture fields, factories, bridges, stadiums, military and security force, and all other sorts of civilized and beneficial projects for Iraqis that will serve all the people of IRAQ and secure their bright future (like all other nations)… But we all know who is stopping this DREAM… Just take a look at what have the neighbors of Iraq (Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others) have done for Iraq?? What have the invaders (lead by the US and UK forces) done for Iraq? What have Al-Qaida in Iraq done for Iraq??... Aside from bringing destruction and division to Iraq and Iraqis, they have nothing else positive to show us or report… So many forces complain of this ARAB-pipeline that will secure the energy for not just Iraq’s 18 provinces but also provide energy to Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and beyond… What would these same forces (dark forces) say or do if Iraq’s wise men(or officials) plan another future pipeline called IRAQ-CHINA or Iraq-Asia pipeline???