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Iraq To Begin Oil Deliveries To Iran

Iraq's oil minister says the country will start exporting oil to Iran from its northern Kirkuk oil fields by the end of January.

Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on January 7 that about 30,000 barrels per day will be trucked to Iran's Kermanshah refinery in the first set of shipments.

The deliveries are to be made under a swap agreement announced in December by both countries.

Iraq and Iran have agreed to swap of up to 60,000 barrels per day of crude oil produced in Kirkuk for Iranian oil that is to be delivered to southern Iraq.

The shipment of oil from Kirkuk has been halted since Iraqi forces took back control of the oil fields from Kurdish forces in October.

Kurdish forces had seized the oil fields during the military campaign that drove Islamic State militants from the area.

Iraq plans to eventually build a pipeline linking the Kirkuk oil fields to Iran’s Kermanshah refinery so that deliveries don't have to be made by truck.

Iraq also is seeking to build a new pipeline to replace an old and severed damaged section of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, which crosses the border with Turkey in the Fish-Khabur area.

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By RFE/RL

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