Iraq, Turkey expand energy ties

Sept. 20, 2010 at 11:18 AM

BAGHDAD, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A bilateral deal between Iraq and Turkey on an oil pipeline is a sign that energy ties between the two countries are expanding, a Turkish minister said.

Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz met his Iraqi counterpart Hussain al-Shahristani at a weekend ceremony in Baghdad to extend the terms for the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline for another 15 years.

The deal would mean Iraq could export another 1 million barrels of oil per day through its northern transit networks.

Around 500,000 barrels per day travels currently through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline. Construction of a second pipeline may be needed as Iraqi oil production increases, the Turkish energy minister said.

Yildiz added that energy cooperation with Iraq involved more than just oil, Turkey's daily newspaper Today's Zaman reports.

"The crude pipeline is not enough for mutual relations," he was quoted as saying. "Natural gas must be included, too."

The Nabucco pipeline, which would travel through Turkey, depends in part on natural gas from Iraq and feeder lines through the country and from Georgia.

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