French, Italian, Turkish firms talk with Iraq over gas pipeline to Turkey
Baghdad is holding talks with representatives of French, Italian and Turkish companies to construct a gas pipeline linking Iraq with Turkey, Al-Qadissiya newspaper reported Tuesday.
Quoting an Iraqi oil source, the paper said "some intense talks are underway between Iraq and companies from Turkey, France and Italy to bring about this project".
Baghdad and Ankara signed an accord at the end of 1996 providing for Iraq delivering up to 10 billion cubic meters (350 billion cubic feet) of natural gas a year from five gas fields in northern Iraq.
The project, which dates to the 1960s, originally foresaw transporting the gas to Istanbul by pipeline but lay dormant until it was revived four years ago.
Current plans call for the gas to be transported to Turkey's Anatolia region through a 1,380-kilometre (900-mile) pipeline.
Iraq's total gas reserves are estimated at five trillion cubic meters (175 trillion cubic feet), of which 3.1 trillion cubic meters (108 trillion cubic feet) are proven.
Iraqi oil exports are strictly monitored under a UN oil-for-food programme that allows Baghdad, which has been under sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, to export a fixed value of crude to finance humanitarian imports.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)