Lebanon Wants Oil Deal With Iraq
Lebanese Oil Minister Suleiman Traboulsi said on October 9th that his country would like to reach an agreement with Iraq that would be similar to that between Baghdad and Jordan.
The Iraqi official news agency (INA) quoted Traboulsi as saying that: “Lebanon wants to sign with Iraq an oil agreement similar to that Baghdad had reached with Amman to meet Lebanon’s needs for crude oil and by-products.”
The Lebanese oil minister met with Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Rasheed on October 8th regarding “future formulas of oil cooperation and the possibility of signing an oil protocol.”
The annual agreement between Amman and Baghdad supplies Jordan with 4.8 million tones of crude oil and refined products a year, half of which is charged at market prices and the rest at undisclosed concessionary terms.
The deal meets Jordan’s energy needs in return for supplying Iraq with humanitarian goods, while allowing Baghdad to pay down its pre-Gulf War debt to its neighbor. The oil pact has been exempted from the sanctions imposed upon Iraq by the U.N. Security Council for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, since the council recognizes that no money changes hands in the deal.
Iraq was Jordan’s major trading partner before sanctions were imposed, and it remains the country’s primary energy supplier, delivering more than $600 million dollars of crude and products annually.
Relations between Lebanon and Iraq were re-established in 1998, after Lebanon severed ties with Baghdad in 1994, accusing it of killing an Iraqi opposition figure in Beirut. The U.N. Security has rejected attempts by Turkey to be excluded from U.N. sanctions on Baghdad and it is unlikely that it will grant Beirut an exemption.
( oilnavigator )