Iraq’s oil ministry launched its planned 1mn b/d Jordan export pipeline project at a London road show on 14 December. While many challenges remain, it is clear the ministry and its consultant, Canadian firm SNC-Lavalin, have learnt the lessons of Baghdad’s fourth upstream bidding round flop earlier this year. The envisaged project structure is focused at minimizing investor risk, and includes the provision of state guarantees.

Iraq’s economy is currently dangerously vulnerable to disruptions to oil exports. It is overly dependent on exports through southern Basra, which make up over 80% of the total – a 2012 average of 2.05mn b/d compared to 378,000 b/d from the north to the Turkish export terminal of Ceyhan. (CONTINUED - 851 WORDS)