Turkey with Iraq in gas development plan

Dec 24, 1996 01:00 AM

Turkey said that a plan by Ankara and Baghdad to launch a joint study on the development of gas fields in Iraq and the building of a pipeline would not breach the six-year-old UN trade embargo on Iraq. "We do not think any international institution will object to such studies,'' Turkish Energy Minister Recai Kutan told. "The studies have nothing to do with the UN embargo, which has turned into an unfair practice on the Iraqis,'' he said. "We are hoping that the embargo will be lifted by the time we have completed the study. So there will not be any obstacle to implementing it,'' Kutan said. According to the natural gas plan, Turkey's state oil and gas producer Turkish Petroleum (TPAO), state pipeline company Botas and Iraq would jointly begin exploring gas fields in Iraq. The output from the fields would be pumped to Turkey through a 1,800 km (1,125 ml) pipeline, whose route is yet to be detailed at the continuing joint meetings in Ankara. Kutan said Turkey would initially get 3 - 4 bncm of gasa year from Iraq through the pipeline and the amount would be raised to 10 bncm later. "When the embargo is lifted, there are plans to link Qatari and Iraqi gas to Western markets through Turkey,'' he said.

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