The local Tekfen has been awarded an exclusive mandate to carry out repairs to the Iraqi section of Baghdad’s twin-oil export pipelines across the southeast. The mandate was disclosed following Iraq’s 20 May agreement with the UN on $2,000 million worth of oil sales for humanitarian aid (see Iraq).

Iraq would pay through oil supplies for the mandate between Tekfen and the Iraqi National Oil Company, a condition of a memorandum of understanding (MOE) reached between Iraq and Turkey in March for the re-opening of pipelines, industry sources say. The MOE reached by visiting Iraqi Oil Minister Emir Mohammad Rashid provided for the opening of the pipelines pending the 20 May agreement on UN Security Council Resolution 986.

The value of the mandate would be determined following further studies inside Iraq to be completed soon, an industry source say. However, he says it included the key 1T2 pumping station north of Kirkuk destroyed by allied air attacks during the Gulf conflict. At present, Iraq has built a bypass round 1T2.

Any repairs still necessary to reach required throughputs would not take long on both the Iraqi and Turkish sections of the 1,049-kilometre lines from Kirkuk in Iraq to Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean oil terminal at Yumurtalik, in the Iskenderun Gulf, one industry source says. Botas itself would send a team of engineers to Iraq to assess and discuss requirements shortly, he adds.