Press TV- Iraq says it will start exporting about 30,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from oil fields in its northern Kirkuk province to Iran before the end of January.
Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi was quoted by media as saying that Kirkuk’s oil would be exported to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery by trucks.
This would be in line with an agreement signed between the two countries last month to allow a resumption of oil exports from Kirkuk.
Last month, Luaibi said Iraq and Iran had agreed to swap up to 60,000 bpd of crude produced from Kirkuk for Iranian oil to be delivered to southern Iraq, according to a report by Reuters.
Kirkuk crude sales have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.
Kurdish forces took control of Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of Daesh terrorists. The Kurdish move prevented the terrorists seizing the region’s oilfields.
Iraq and Iran are also planning to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk to avoid having to truck the crude, Luaibi said last month.
It would replace an old and severely damaged section of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline which Iraq’s Oil Ministry said in a statement was “too damaged by attacks by Daesh terrorist gangs to be rehabilitated”.
Iraq had exported 250,000 to 400,000 bpd through that pipeline before the start of Daesh insurgency halted the supplies.
Iraq is the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Saudi Arabia, and holds the world’s fifth-largest proven crude oil reserves after Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Iran, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).