News ID: 212489
Published: 0228 GMT April 02, 2018

Iraq to start oil swap with Iran soon

Iraq to start oil swap with Iran soon

A senior Iraqi official said his country could start sending crude by truck from Kirkuk to Iran's Kermanshah refinery within a week or two.

The swap deal was reached at the end of 2017 based on which Iraq is to truck 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to Iran, reported Press TV.

Iran will export same amount of crude it receives from Kirkuk from its Kharg terminal on the Persian Gulf on behalf of Iraq.

The announcement, which was made Monday by the head of the Iraqi state oil marketer SOMO Alaa al-Yasiri, may end months of anticipation, marked by similar statements of an imminent start.

Yasiri indicated that a dispute between the regional Kurdistan government and Baghdad was hindering the swap deal from getting off the ground.

According to the official, the Kurdistan region is demanding that the central government in Baghdad pay the debt related to the development of the Kurdish oil industry infrastructure.

Yasiri said oil exports from the northern Kirkuk fields through Turkey, halted since October, could also resume 'at any moment' as talks with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which controls the pipeline, are ongoing.

In parallel, the Iraqi government plans to build a pipeline to Turkey running within its territory within six months, he said.

The deal to initially truck 30,000 bpd of crude oil from Kirkuk fields to Kermanshah refinery was to get underway last month but an Iranian official said the swap plan was facing delays due to safety problems.

The two neighbors also plan to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk to Iranian refineries in Kermanshah, Tabriz, Tehran and Arak, which could upend the existing export route from Kirkuk via Turkey and the Mediterranean.

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