Jordan and Iraq will issue an international tender next week for the construction of a pipeline to carry Iraqi oil to Jordan, Jordanian Energy Minister Mohammad Batayneh said Wednesday, October 31.
The project has been approved by the Jordanian government, Batayneh said after talks here with Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Mohammad Rashid, and will take two years to complete.
It was previously okayed by the Iraqi government, the official INA news agency quoted Batayney as saying. Under the plan, which has been under discussion for several years, an estimated $350 million, 750 kilometer (465 mile) pipeline will feed the Jordanian refinery at Zarka, northeast of Amman.
Iraq supplies Jordan with all its oil, half of it free and the remainder at a discount, as part of a protocol outside the UN sanctions imposed on Baghdad in 1990. Jordanian imports, which rose to five million tons of crude this year from 4.8 million last year, are now transported by tanker trucks across the desert to Zarqa.
Batayneh said before leaving Amman Tuesday that Jordan would need to increase its oil imports from Iraq next year by five to 10 percent. INA quoted him as saying Wednesday that Amman and Baghdad held "identical views on renewing the annual protocol under which Iraq supplies oil to Jordan after determining Jordan's needs at the end of the year." — (AFP, Bagdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )