Tehran-Baghdad crude swap may open a new gate for Kirkuk oil
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
The recent agreement on oil swap between Tehran and Baghdad apparently tends to diversify Iraq’s routes for carrying crude from the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in northern regions of the Arab country.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi through a Facebook post on Friday said that Kirkuk will supply about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to the Kermanshah refinery in western Iran. He also said that the figure may reach 60,000 barrels per day in future.
According to Iranian media reports, Alaa al-Moussawi, director of the oil marketing company Oil Marketing Company SOMO, has also echoed plans for delivering Kirkuk’s oil to Iran.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh earlier said that his country preferred to swap oil with Iraq. He had mentioned that Kirkuk oil would feed refineries in northern and northwestern Iran, including Arak, Kermanshah, Tehran and Tabriz. In turn, Iran will deliver the same amount of oil to Iraq through its southern borders.
According to Iraqi oil minister, the Kirkuk’s oil will be carried by road tankers and in the meantime, the sides will take measures to construct a pipeline to transfer the Arab country’s oil to Iran.
The Iraqi official has said that the oil swap deal is capable of contributing to the economic situation of the southern ports of the Arab state, as well as strengthening ties with its eastern neighbor, Iran.
Iraq used to ship Kirkuk’s oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan via a pipeline owned and operated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). However, following the recent tensions in the region, the Iraqi Oil Ministry took control of the oil filed and started talks with Iranian officials about the province’s oil exports through the Islamic Republic.
It appears that the central government of Iraq in the current situation is after diversifying its routes for exporting the country’s northern oil. While the Ceyhan pipeline remains at the sole route for exporting Iraq’s oil from its fields in north, the construction of a new pipeline to Iran would open a new gate for Kirkuk’s crude into the world.