By Azania Post Reporter
TWO countries in Middle East are planning to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk to avoid having to truck the crude, authorities have said.
Speaking the Iraq Oil Minister Jabar al- Luabi said the planned pipeline to Iran could replace the existing export route from Kirkuk via Turkey and the Mediterranean.
Luabi also announced today Sunday that his country will start exporting oil from the northern Kirkuk fields to Iran before the end of January.
About 30,000 barrels per day of crude will be trucked to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery in the first instance, he said. '‘God willing, we will start before the end of the month,‘’ he added.
Trucking crude to Iran comes under a swap agreement announced last month by the two countries to allow a resumption of oil exports from Kirkuk.
Iraq and Iran have agreed to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude produced from Kirkuk for Iranian oil to be delivered to southern Iraq, Luaibi said recently.
Kirkuk crude sales have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.
Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of Islamic State. The Kurdish move prevented the militants from seizing the region’s oilfields.