Iraq has completed tender documents to be issued to 12 pre-qualified contractors for construction of a 1mn b/d oil pipeline that will provide an alternative export route through Jordan’s Red Sea port of ‘Aqaba after clinching an agreement with ‘Amman on transit fees. The award for the Haditha-’Aqaba portion of the pipeline on a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) basis is expected by the end of 2014.

A source familiar with the project says that Iraq’s State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP) has issued a letter to the qualified companies inviting them to access data in return for a payment of $50,000 ahead of issuing the Initial Tender Protocol. Baghdad has made it clear that it will pursue a policy of diversified oil export routes, partly to avoid future bottlenecks, as it ramps up output towards a targeted 9mn b/d before the end of the decade and in part because Syria, which would be an obvious alternative Mediterranean outlet, is currently a non-starter. Iraq lost access to a pipeline across Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea after Riyadh expropriated the pipeline for its own use (MEES, 18 June 2001). (CONTINUED - 625 WORDS)