Jordan and Iraq agreed to construct a pipeline to supply the Kingdom with crude oil and natural gas, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, quoted officials from both countries as saying. Under the cooperation accord signed by Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Alaa Batayneh and Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi, the two countries also agreed on exporting crude oil from Iraq through Jordan's sole port, Aqaba, according to Petra.
Luaibi indicated that the pipeline would carry crude oil to the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company's plant in Zarqa to meet Jordan's needs and to the Aqaba Port for export purposes.
The Iraqi official estimated the quantities of oil to be pumped through the pipeline at one million barrels a day, Petra reported, quoting him as saying that authorities in Baghdad have already signed a contract with an international consultant company to prepare a study on the project.
Jordan and Iraq also agreed to increase the volumes of crude oil provided to the Kingdom from 10,000 barrels per day to 15,000
Batayneh said that a joint committee, to be chaired by ministers from both countries, will convene every six months, while subcommittees, to be headed by secretaries general, will meet every three months to follow up on implementing the memorandum of understanding.
Commenting on crude oil imported from Iraq, Batayneh noted that Jordan has only received 25 per cent of the quantities the two countries agreed on due to logistic issues and technical reasons related to standards of oil requested by the refinery.
The accord was signed as the joint Jordan-Iraq ministerial higher committee concluded its two-day meetings in Amman.
According to a statement sent to The Jordan Times by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Amman and Baghdad looked into ways to boost cooperation in various fields that include trade, investment, customs, land transport, industry and aviation in addition to linking the two countries with railways.
At the meetings, headed by Industry and Trade Minister Shabib Ammari and Iraqi Finance Minister Rafe Essawi, Jordan urged Iraqi authorities to pay financial dues to Jordanian companies that exported goods to the eastern neighbor after the first Gulf War in the early 1990s, the statement said.
Also Thursday, Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh met with Essawi and discussed means to increase bilateral economic cooperation, according to Petra.