Jordan and Iraq are determined to proceed with plans for an oil pipeline to deliver crude from Iraq’s southern Basra oil fields to Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba despite the menace of Islamic State (IS) fighters along the original route. The two sides have now come up with an alternative route for the pipeline, which will bypass Anbar province, where battles to dislodge the jihadists are still raging more than a year since the militant group seized a large chunk of Iraqi territory.

The revised plans and new route for the 2.25mn b/d pipeline are due to be discussed in Amman next week by experts from the Iraqi and Jordanian oil ministries, the project managers and the Chinese lead developers. State-owned CNPC is expected to provide funding: recent estimates put costs at $18bn, double the original 2012 estimate of $8-10bn. CNPC, one of the largest investors in southern Iraq’s oil field projects, would stand to benefit from the route. SNC Lavalin is project manager and ministry advisor. (CONTINUED - 1065 WORDS)