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Iraq mulls rebuilding oil pipeline through Syria

OPEC producer Iraq is considering reconstructing an old pipeline through neighboring Syria to export crude from a Mediterranean port to Europe and other countries, an Iraqi official was reported on Tuesday as saying.

The pipeline, which was commissioned in 1952, links the central Iraqi Kirkuk oilfields with the Northwestern Syrian port of Baniyas and was operational for many years before it was badly damaged during the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

“Iraq is considering reviving the oil export pipeline through Baniyas Port,” Iraqi government spokesman Bassim Al-Awadi told the official Iraqi news agency.

“Iraq is searching for new oil export outlets…we believe that Iraq is now ready to discuss with Syria the reconstruction of Kirkuk-Baniyas pipeline,” he added.

In 2007, Iraq and Syria agreed to rebuild the pipeline but a contract awarded to Stroytransgas, a subsidiary of the Russian Gasprom group, was nullified in 2009 due to high costs and other reasons.
Source: Reuters (Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)

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