Iraq and Jordan have renewed their oil agreement whereby Jordan imports all its oil requirements from Iraq at well below market price. Jordan will import 4 million tonnes a year (mt/y) of crude oil and 1 mt/y of products, amounting to around 100,000 barrels a day (b/d). The total value of the deal is about $600 million but the ministers said that President Saddam Hussein had given Jordan a grant of $300 million towards the bill.
It represented 'the continuation of co-operation in the most difficult circumstances' according to Rashid, who also said that Iraq would continue supplying the oil in the event of war with the US (MEED 26:4:02). Batayneh said that the project to build an oil pipeline between the two neighbours would take off in early 2003. The Jordanian section will run from the Zarqa refinery to the Iraqi border, and bids to build it are under evaluation (MEED 4:10:02; 23:8:02). The ministers signed a memorandum that spoke of strengthening trade co-operation to increase volume to $310 million for 2003 compared to $260 million this year.