A project involving the construction of a 1,700-km pipeline to pump crude oil from Iraq to Jordan could cost around $9 billion, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said on Thursday.
The new estimate is nearly half of the project costs forecast earlier by Iraqi officials at nearly $18 billion to be funded by the government and private investors.
In a statement carried by Shafaq News and other Iraqi publications, the Ministry said the project, which was first floated in 1983, has not yet been awarded.
“This project has an export capacity of one million barrels per day...it is intended to boost Iraq’s crude export capacity and bolster relations with neighbouring countries,” the Ministry said in the statement.
“Contrary to some reports, this project has not yet been awarded to any company or consortium and its costs will not exceed $9 billion.”
OPEC member Iraq, which controls the world’s fifth largest recoverable oil deposits, said in 2019 it had asked pre-qualified global firms to submit bids for the project, which is part of an agreement it signed with Jordan in 2013 for the construction of a pipeline that will end up in the Southern Jordanian port of Aqaba.
The project, involving one of the longest pipelines in the region, was obstructed by cash shortages and hostilities in pipeline route areas inside Iraq.
(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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