The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has recently been involved with a number of projects in partnership with foreign investors. According to the latest Iraqi Dinar news reports, the KRG is currently working on plans to build an all-new pipeline going to Turkey, with a capacity of transporting over 1 million barrels of oil every day.
During an energy conference in Turkey last Thursday, KRG natural resources minister Ashti Hawrami announced that plans for building short spur lines from producing fields were already set in place. He also added that arrangements for funding a main export line for transporting crude oil from these fields going to the border have been implemented. In addition, Hawrami stated that plans to launch a construction tender for the project are in progress as well.
Based on preliminary plans made by the KRG, the new line was to connect with the Turkish portion of the existing Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil line. However, during several meetings with key investors of the project, Kurd government officials said that stakeholders were more interested in building a new pipeline inside Turkey. Based on what they've discussed so far, it's likely that the new infrastructure will be built from northern Iraq's border going to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
Considering the parties involved, the pipeline's proposed location, as well as the potential to reap significant profits once the project is complete, it's no surprise that this development is attracting speculations from Iraqis everywhere.
While KRG officials say that the project was not intended to benefit certain areas of Iraq and Turkey only (when questioned by reporters), others speculate that there indeed is an existing ulterior motive, which is: to help launch Kurdistan's campaign to become an independent province.
In response to the accusations, Hawrami released this statement to the media: "Any such pipeline will be an Iraqi pipeline. It will be for the benefit of all nations, all the Iraqi people and all the Turkish people."
He also added: "It is not designed to be anything else except supplying secure oil to the market."
Dinar news reporters say that Hawrami stood steadfast when speculated by a number of individuals in regards to "doubtful" intentions behind the new pipeline project. The natural resources minister emphasized that the pipeline will remain Iraqi property on its side of the border, while remaining Turkish property on Turkey's border side.
Moreover, oil which passes through the infrastructure will belong to the Iraqi state as well.
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