The Jordan Times
Work to construct a $18 billion oil pipeline from Iraq’s Basra to Jordan’s port city of Aqaba may start soon, as officials from both coutries are meeting with international firms interested in the mega-project, an official said Saturday.
Jordan and Iraq are speeding up their measures and efforts to construct the pipeline, a senior official at the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) told The Jordan Times.
The official, who preferred to remain unnamed, said that Jordanian and Iraqi officials held meetings last week in Aqaba with several international companies that showed interest in carrying out the scheme, adding that work on the project is set to begin soon.
Once completed –– the pipeline is projected to export 2.25 million barrels of oil per day through the Kingdom. It would generate between $2 billion and $3 billion a year in revenues for the Kingdom, according to estimates of Iraqi and Jordanian officials.
The source said that Jordanian and Iraqi officials had agreed to prepare copies of the tenders from the Iraqi side.
ASEZA Chief Commissioner Kamel Mahadin, who attended the meeting, said it is one of the mega-projects that would further enhance economic ties between Jordan and Iraq.
“Iraq will provide Jordan with oil at preferential prices,” Mahadin added.
In addition to securing the Kingdom’s oil needs, 120,000-150,000 barrels a day, the 1,700 kilometre-long pipeline is expected to create around 10,000 jobs in Iraq and over 3,000 opportunities for Jordanian engineers and workers.
The double pipeline may also include extending a sub-pipeline to Jordan’s sole refinery in Zarqa.
Last week meetings came just days before the launching of the Basra investment forum that will take place in Amman between February 27 and 28, and will focus on the Basra-Aqaba oil pipeline project.