VIENNA, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Iraq will announce a tender for a new oil export pipeline from the Kirkuk oilfield within a week, the country’s oil minister said on Wednesday.
Last month, Iraq’s central government retook control of the field from the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Production of some 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) has been disrupted since then as Baghdad and Erbil argue about export routes.
“We have already issued a tender to build a new pipeline with a 40 inch diameter and two pumping stations,” Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters in Vienna.
Kurdistan has built another pipeline for Kirkuk exports to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan after the old Kirkuk pipeline belonging to the federal government had been damaged by Islamic State militants.
Kirkuk’s production stopped in mid-October after Iraqi forces dislodged Kurdish fighters from Kirkuk and took over the northern region’s oilfield.
Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi told reporters in Vienna that the new pipeline would be able to ship 300,000 bpd. He said current production from Kirkuk of around 80,000 bpd was being shipped by truck to local power stations and refineries.
Luaibi said Iraq was opening dialogue with Russian state oil firm Rosneft, one of the most active investors in Kurdistan.
Luaibi said the contract model for the new round to offer nine exploration blocks bordering Iran and Kuwait will differ from those signed with foreign companies to develop its southern oilfields. (Reporting by OPEC team, writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Dale Hudson and Louise Heavens)