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Iraq reviews oil pipeline to Saudi Arabia

March 15, 2012 at 7:10 AM

BAGHDAD, March 15 (UPI) -- Iraqi lawmakers said they wanted to form a committee to examine reopening an oil pipeline to Saudi Arabia that's been closed since the Gulf War in the 1990s.

Most of Iraq's oil exports head by tanker from the southern port city of Basra through the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has threatened to close shipping lanes in the strait, through which about 20 percent of the global oil shipments travel, in response to economic pressure imposed by its Western adversaries.

Iraqi lawmakers said the Oil Ministry should look for alternatives because of political tensions in the region. A committee in the Iraqi Parliament has called for talks meant to open an oil pipeline to Saudi Arabia that was shut down after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's bureau in Iraq reports.

The International Energy Agency in December said crude oil production in Iraq was on the rise. The country is expected to produce around 4.36 billion barrels of oil per day by 2016.

The country this month announced that oil production topped 3 million bpd for the first time in more than 30 years.

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