ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – The recent deal signed with Tehran to swap up to 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from northern Kirkuk for Iranian oil is for one year and subject to renewal, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Sunday.
An agreement between the two countries was signed on Friday which allows Iran to deliver crude “of the same characteristics and in the same quantities” as those it would receive from Kirkuk to southern Iraqi ports on the Gulf.
“This is an agreement for one year, and then we will see after that whether to renew it,” Luaibi told reporters in Kuwait on the sidelines of an Arab oil ministerial conference.
Oil sales have been halted since Iraqi forces and Iranian-backed Shia Hashd al-Shaabi militias took control of fields in Kirkuk Province from the Kurds following their Sep. 25 independence vote.
The deal allows Iraq to resume the production and sale of crude from Kirkuk where between 30,000 to 60,000 bpd of oil will be delivered by tanker trucks to the border area of Kermanshah (Kermanshan) in Iran.
The Iraqi Oil Minister also explained that the construction of an oil pipeline from Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan would take one year to build, replacing an “old, badly damaged” section of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline.
Luaibi also added he plans to visit Kirkuk on Thursday with a senior executive from BP to “activate” an agreement signed with the British oil company to increase production from oilfields in the province to over 700,000 bpd.
“We have a memorandum of understanding with BP to evaluate Kirkuk oilfield to raise output and enhance reservoirs,” he said.
Kirkuk is one of the largest oilfields in the Middle East, estimated to contain around nine billion barrels of recoverable oil.