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New Kirkuk–Ceyhan oil pipeline nearly complete - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A policeman inspects a damaged vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, August 22, 2013. Four people were wounded in the attack, police said. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

A policeman inspects a damaged vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, August 22, 2013. Four people were wounded in the attack, police said. REUTERS/Ako Rasheed

Oslo and Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat—Norwegian oil company DNO International announced on Wednesday that a new pipeline, which will carry crude oil from the autonomous Kurdistan Region in Iraq to Turkey, was almost complete.

The pipeline project has angered the central government in Baghdad. There has been ongoing disagreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad about revenue sharing from oil and gas in northern Iraq.

The KRG has recently tried to demonstrate its independence from Baghdad by launching a pipeline project linking it to Turkey in order to export hydrocarbons.

DNO’s Kurdistan operations manager, Nicholas Atencio, said: “The Kurdistan Regional Government’s pipeline is a few hundred meters from the Feysh Kabour pump station.” Feysh Kabour is 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Turkish border.

It is not clear yet whether the new pipeline will be connected to an existing pipeline running from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan at a metering station controlled by Baghdad, or beyond that, either before the Turkish border or after it.

Speaking at DNO’s second-quarter results presentation, Atencio added that the company did not export the crude it produced through the pipeline. The company is currently unable to export crude from the Tawke field, and therefore sells it locally.

DNO said the Tawke field had recorded the highest levels of production in a single day, reaching 113,000 barrels, and the highest sales in a single day, at 102,000 barrels, during the second quarter.

DNO chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani said: “Internally we play it carefully, but we are pleased with the progress. Our achievements are evidence of what we can do.” The company said it would be able to produce around 200,000 barrels per day at Tawke by the fourth quarter of 2014.

Earlier on Wednesday, DNO said its second-quarter earnings exceeded expectations. DNO, whose operations focus on the Middle East, said its quarterly net profit were NOK 280 million (USD 47 million), exceeding expectations of NOK 244 million (USD 41 million). These followed losses of NOK 176 million (USD 29 million) a year earlier.

The Kirkuk–Ceyhan pipeline has suffered frequent disruption due to technical problems and insurgent attacks, the most recent of which occurred earlier this week.

A senior Turkish official in Ankara told Reuters that oil delivery through the pipeline between Iraqi Kirkuk and the Turkish port of Ceyhan would resume on Wednesday evening. The official said the supplies were disrupted due to maintenance work, denying there was any attack on the pipeline.

Two Iraqi officials earlier said two bomb attacks caused extensive damage to the pipeline, which caused it to shut down. They added that a bomb attack took place around 1:00 a.m. local time on Wednesday near Al-Khidhir in Nainawa, 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Mosul. Another part of the pipeline was also attacked near the junction of Kirkuk and the northern town of Bayji.

The pipeline, which has suffered at least 37 attacks over the past two months, according to data obtained from the AFP news agency, has struggled to maintain consistent exporting figures.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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