ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi and Jordanian officials announced that Amman would receive its first shipment this week of a planned 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from Iraq's disputed province of Kirkuk as apart of an agreement made between the two neighboring countries in early 2019.
Hala Zawati, Jordan's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, told The Jordan Times on Saturday that the oil was being loaded onto trucks at Iraq's Baiji refinery on Saturday. On Sunday, Iraqi spokesman Assim Jihad confirmed to local Iraqi media that the trucks had begun their journey to the Hashemite Kingdom early that morning.
Zawati said that more than 200 trucks, roughly 100 from each country, were expected to reach their destination of Jordan’s Petroleum Refinery Company in Zarqa on Tuesday.
Iraq agreed in late January to provide Jordan with oil from Baiji relying on a price formula that is equal to the rate for Brent crude, a benchmark price for purchases of oil worldwide, minus transport costs and differing specifications.
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The Jordan Times reported that Burj Al Hayat Transport and Trading Co. won the oil shipping tender in May, "and has since obtained 600 visas for drivers from both countries (300 Jordanians and 300 Iraqis), and will apply for more in the future."
Zawati was quoted by the Ammon news website in mid-August as saying that the necessary procedures to start the transfer were in their final stages and exports to Jordan would start in a short time, stressing that there were "no outstanding issues" that would hinder the successful arrival of the Iraqi oil in Jordan.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Minister previously announced that the oil would start arriving at the end of July, but apparent complications had pushed back the date.
Zawati traveled to Iraq earlier this year for a meeting with government officials in Baghdad following a visit by the country’s monarch, King Abdullah, a first since 2008.
Iraq and Jordan signed a 2013 pipeline agreement worth about $18 billion and announced that multiple financing options would be considered. The Jordanian port of Aqaba, on the northern tip of the Red Sea, has long been a route for Iraqi imports and exports.
A 1,700 km pipeline will have to be built from Iraq's southern port of Basra, through the province of Najaf and vast desert regions of embattled Anbar Province, into Jordan, and down again to the southern port of Aqaba.
August saw the first increase in output for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a result of higher supply from both Iraq and Nigeria, Reuters reported on Friday.
In January, Baghdad reluctantly agreed to an output-cutting deal made by an alliance of oil giants known as OPEC+ that aimed to bolster petroleum prices and "restore balance between supply and demand" in the market.
A recent Reuters survey indicated that Saudi Arabia is not deviating from the plan to restrict output, but August's increases by Iraq and Nigeria was apparently enough to outweigh both this and additional losses caused by US sanctions on Iran.
Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer following Saudi Arabia, almost entirely relies on oil to generate its revenue.