Iraq-to-Syria pipeline almost repaired

Aug 09, 1999 02:00 AM

Iraq has finished repairs to its side of an oil pipeline to Syria where work continues, oil sources said. "Work on the rehabilitation of the Syrian-Iraqi oil pipeline is still going on the Syrian side while work on the Iraqi side has ended," the source said.
The pipeline will carry 300,000 bpd from Iraq once all the work is over, he added. According to Iraqi Oil Minister Amer Rashid both countries have been working together on the Syrian part of the link.
Iraq and Syria signed a memorandum of understanding a year ago to reopen the 750 km (465-mile) pipeline, which was closed in 1982. In October last year industry sources in the region said the pipeline between northern Iraq and Syria's Mediterranean port of Baniyas could be made operational in less than 18 months at a cost of up to $ 70 mm. Washington opposed the project saying the pipeline operations would violate the eight-year-old UN oil embargo on Iraq.
Under the oil-for-food accord, Baghdad is allowed to export crude through Turkeyand its Gulf port of Umm Qasr to pay for humanitarian supplies. Damascus and Baghdad began to normalise relations in 1997 after ties were cut in 1980 because of Syria's support for Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war.
Ties were strained further when Syria joined the US-led multinational coalition which expelled Iraqi troops from Kuwait in February 1991. Their border was reopened for trade and official visits in 1997 and Syrian goods, from soap to food, have since flooded into Iraq.

Source: AFP via Iinoil
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