Iraq plans exporting Kirkuk oil to Turkey via new pipeline - oil ministry

Iraqi Federal Government is planning to build a new pipeline to ship oil from Kirkuk to Ceyhan Port in Turkey, Reuters quoted Iraqi oil ministry as saying.

Oil minister Jabar al-Luaibi said they will invite companies for building the new pipeline project through build-operate-transfer investment model to start from Baiji city and span until the Fish-Khabur border area with Turkey, said the statement.

The old Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline was severely damaged after the region was overrun by the militants of the Islamic State (IS). Over the past two years, it was first recaptured by Kurdish Iraqi forces backed by the United States. Last month, Iraqi government forces took control of the region from the Kurds in retaliation for the Kurdish independence referendum.

The Kurdish Regional Government has been operating a pipeline that connects to the twin Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline at Khabur on the border with Turkey, Reuters said, and Iraqi officials blamed Kurdish authorities of not allowing the use the Kurdish pipeline to resume oil exports from Kirkuk.

Iraq's national oil company, SOMO, also plans to build another pipeline from Kirkuk to Iran in a swap deal, Azernews reported.