Jordan to renew oil deal with Iraq

Jan 15, 1997 01:00 AM

Jan. 4, 1997 Senior Jordanian and Iraqi officials aided by technical experts are now busy working on details of renewing an oil agreement between the two countries. The agreement, under which Iraq is expected to increase by 7 % its oil supplies to Jordan, will be signed when Minister of Industry and Trade Ali Abul Ragheb visits Baghdad. At this moment technical experts from the two sides are working on the details. Abul Ragheb is scheduled to visit Baghdad for a meeting of the Joint Jordanian-Iraqi Economic Commission on January 6. During the visit, Jordan and Iraq are also expected to renew their annual trade protocol, which is tied with the oil agreement. Under the proposed agreement, Iraq will provide Jordan 4.5 mmt of crude oil and oil products in 1997. Since the end of the gulf war, Iraq has been meeting Jordan's oil needs by trucking 50,000 bpd of crude oil and 20,000 to 25, 000 bpd of fuel oil to the country's only refinery at Zarqa. But Baghdad now owes Jordan $ 1.3 bn, representing debts accumulated in the 1980s as well as the unsettled payment of part of the Jordanian exports to Iraq. In 1996, Jordan cut the annual trade protocol by about half to $ 220 mm. Officials have said that the amount is unlikely to be increased in 1997. Issues related to the outstanding Iraqi debts to Jordan and replacement of the present trucking system to pump Iraqi oil to Zarqa by the 500-kilometre pipeline are also expected to be discussed during the talks of Dabbas and Awad with Baghdad officials.

Source: not available
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