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Iraq and Iran sign Kirkuk oil export contract

A general view of the Port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal, in Iran, seen on March 12, 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]
A general view of the port of Kharg Island Oil Terminal in Iran on 12 March 2017 [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

Iraq has signed an agreement with Iran to export crude oil from its Kirkuk oilfield with a rate of between 30,000 and 60,000 barrels per day, an Iraqi oil official said on Saturday.

Iraq plans to double its production from oilfields in Kirkuk to one million barrels per day, its oil minister said last month. Exports from oilfields in Kirkuk have been on hold since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.

Local Iraqi private broadcaster Alsumariya earlier said the deal had been signed in Tehran, citing Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi.

Read: New Iraqi pipeline planned to send Kirkuk oil to Turkey

The agreement signed by the two countries provides for Iran to deliver to Iraq’s southern ports, on the Gulf, “oil of the same characteristics and in the same quantities” as those it would receive from Kirkuk, Luaibi said in a statement.

The deal in effect allows Iraq to resume sales of Kirkuk crude, which have been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the fields from the Kurds in October.

The two countries are planning to build a pipeline to carry the oil from Kirkuk, so as to avoid trucking the crude, he said.

The pipeline could replace the existing export route from Kirkuk via Turkey and the Mediterranean by pipeline.

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