Iraq’s planned multi-billion dollar crude export project from Basra to the Jordanian port of ‘Aqaba is moving ahead on schedule. Meetings in Baghdad are planned for later this month to finalize a shortlist of pre-qualified companies and the invitation to tender should be sent out by April, MEES learns.

However, reports in the Jordanian press that 25% of the project might be offered in an initial public offering to Iraqi and Jordanian citizens are not correct, at least as of MEES press time. And MEES further understands reported cost estimates of $18bn are overblown. Firstly a 56-inch line with a capacity of 2.25mn b/d will be built from Pumping Station 1 (PS-1A) in Basra to Haditha in Iraq’s western Anbar province around 680km away. This will be implemented under a standard engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract structure. The second stage will be a 20-year build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) project with a 1mn b/d pipeline from Haditha to the Gulf of ‘Aqaba, 1,000km away. This will include a 160,000 b/d spur line to Jordan’s Zarqa refinery. (CONTINUED - 350 WORDS)