An Iraqi oil worker checks the pipeline at Bai Hassan oil field in Kirkuk on October 19. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Ministry of Oil announced on Sunday they are now accepting bids from potential builders for a new oil pipeline to run from the Kirkuk to Turkey’s Cehyan port on the Mediterranean coast since scrapping plans to rehabilitate their existing pipeline.
The state-run Oil Projects Company said the new 350 kilometer (220 mile) oil pipeline will transport up to one million barrels per day (bpd).
Assem Jihad, spokesman for the Oil Ministry, said that Kirkuk fields currently produce 140,000 bpd, which is all shipped to refineries.
Included in the project will be a 305 kilometer (190 mile) gas pipeline to be built in order to feed tanks, pumping stations and other installations.
Companies interested in submitting bids for the project have a deadline of January 24 to submit applications for pre-qualification. Although a timeline for the project was not provided by the ministry, it announced that at least 25 percent will be owned by Iraqi companies.
Iraq had initially planned to repair its pipeline to Turkey that had lain unused since it was damaged by militants in 2014, prior to ISIS capturing territory that the pipeline ran through.
Jihad announced on November 26 that the pipeline was too severely damaged to be repaired and said that the Oil Ministry had scrapped plans to rehabilitate the pipeline.
Kirkuk’s oil fields came under federal control when Iraqi forces took the disputed areas in mid-October.
Kirkuk’s oil was previously being exported via the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) pipeline to Ceyhan. Oil exports have largely been stalled since federal forces took control of the province and Baghdad halted all KRG exports.