Prior to the US-led invasion in March, up to 100,000 barrels a day (b/d) of Iraqi crude and heavy fuel oil were transported by truck into Jordan. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have pledged to supply the country with its energy needs on a temporary basis. But as a variety of international oil companies and agencies struggle to mobilise the Iraqi oil sector, Amman is pressing ahead with plans to build its half of an estimated $365 million pipeline, which will convey some 250,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude from Iraq’s Haditha pumping station to the Zarqa refinery northeast of Amman. The pipeline is scheduled for completion in 2004, by which time infrastructure at Hadith is expected to be repaired.

According to officials at Iraq’s Northern Oil Company (NOC), the K3 pipeline pumping station at Haditha was destroyed in the first week of April (MEED 9:5:03).

The Jordanian Energy & Mineral Resources Ministry has shortlisted three international groups of contractors for the pipeline construction contract, which is expected to be awarded by the end of June. The groups bidding for the build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) contract are Sharjah-based Petrofac International, Oman’s Shanfari Groupand a Russian-led team of Stroytransgasand Indian Oil Corporation.

A fourth team led by Italy’s CTIPhas been excluded from the running. ILF Consulting Engineersof Germany is the consultant on the project. When it is completed in 2004, the pipeline is expected to save Jordan some $50 million a year in transport tariffs.