AMMAN (AFP) — Iraq is to start this week delivering oil to Jordan at preferential rates under a delayed year-old agreement, the kingdom’s transport minister said in an interview published on Sunday.
“The Iraqi side has informed the Jordanian authorities that it was ready deliver shipments of crude oil from Kirkuk within three days because the circumstances are currently suitable,” Saud Nessayrat told Al-Dustour daily.
The crude will be transported from Iraq’s ethnically-volatile northern oil hub of Kirkuk and Iraqi authorities will provide protection for the tanker trucks up to the border, Nessayrat said.
Baghdad struck a deal with Amman in August 2006 to provide its neighbour with between 10 and 30 percent of its daily oil needs of around 100,000 barrels starting from September of last year.
But the shipments have been delayed for technical and security reasons.
Nessayrat said that Iraq will at first supply Jordan with 10,000 barrels a day. “Iraq and Jordan are expected to increase the supplies in the future,” the minister said.
In June, Iraq’s Finance Minister Bayan Jabr Solagh said his country would be selling the oil to Jordan at a preferential rate of 18 dollars below market prices.
Jordan was reliant on Iraq for all its oil needs before the US-led invasion of its eastern neighbour in March 2003, importing 5.5 million tonnes annually by road, half of it free and the rest at a preferential price.