By John Lee.
Commenting in Oilprice.com 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".