By ERCAN ERSOY
ISTANBUL (Bloomberg) -- Iraqi Kurdistan
plans to build a 1 MMbpd oil pipeline to Turkeys Ceyhan
port in as little as 18 months, providing an export link that
totally bypasses Iraqs existing network.
Between 18 months to two years from now the new
pipeline from our region to Ceyhan will be ready, Ashti
Hawrami, the Kurdish Regional Governments natural
resources minister, told reporters at an energy conference in
A new pipeline running from Iraqi Kurdistan to Turkey would
bypass Baghdad, with which the KRG is embroiled in disputes
over export revenue, and require Turkeys approval. No one
at the Turkish energy ministry including Minister Taner Yildiz
was immediately available to comment when calls were placed to
Kurdistan will complete a 40 km line by year end that will
link to Iraqs main export pipeline extending from Kirkuk
to Ceyhan. With a capacity of 300,000 bpd, it wont meet
export needs, he said.
Kurdistan, whose economy has boomed with oil exploration
since Saddam Husseins ouster in 2003, expects exports to
soar more than 40-fold to 2 MMbpd by 2020 after the pipeline
network is completed. Producers including Genel Energy, the
regions largest, are shipping oil on trucks through
Turkey and Iran to international buyers, Hawrami said.
Mehmet Sepil, president of Genel Energy, said at the same
conference that the 40 km pipeline from Dohuk to Fishkabur on
the Turkish border will carry 200,000 bpd from its Tawke and
Taq Taq fields and the remainder from other producers.
The main line, controlled by the Iraqi central government,
needs maintenance before it can reach full
capacity of as much as 1.6 MMbpd after years of disuse because
of UN sanctions against Husseins regime.
The Kurdish region, which exports 30,000 to 50,000 bpd of
Genel Energy crude by truck to Turkey, plans to increase
shipments to 1 MMbpd by the end of 2015 and 2 MMbpd by 2020
once the pipeline network is operational, Hawrami said.
The Kurdish regions oil-production capacity will rise
to 400,000 bpd by the end of this year from 300,000 bpd now,
KRG also plans to start shipping natural gas to Turkey,
where demand will probably grow 10 % to 48 bcm this year, from
2016 or 2017 at an annual rate of 10 bcm, Hawrami said.
Turkey is a very important market for our gas and a very
important corridor for our energy.
KRG will set up its own metering system near Fishkabur to
monitor oil flow once the Dohuk-Fishkabur pipeline is
operational, Hawrami said.