KRG Tempts Baghdad With Pipeline Expansion

Erbil has added 300,000 b/d capacity to its crude export pipeline, offering Baghdad access to a 1mn b/d pipeline for shut-in Kirkuk volumes. The parties still need to sign on the dotted line, but increased pressure from the US could push along the process.

Capacity of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Rosneft-operated oil export pipeline to Turkey has been increased from 700,000 b/d to 1mn b/d, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) confirmed in a rare press release on 4 November. The additional 300,000 b/d comes from the installation of a pumping station in the Shaikan district – most likely close to the junction with the Atrush spur-line (see map).

With KRG current output just north of 400,000 b/d and no probability of an imminent production surge, the region was unable to fill the pipeline prior to its expansion, let alone now. The clear implication is that Erbil is aiming to tempt Baghdad into resuming piped exports to Turkey via the KRG’s link for the first time since June 2017. Indeed, the MNR’s statement makes clear its intentions. (CONTINUED - 783 WORDS)