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The New Arab

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop oil fields retaken from Kurds

After Saudi Arabia, Iraq is the second largest producer in the OPEC cartel [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 January, 2018

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After retaking Kirkuk's lucrative oil fields from Kurdish forces, Iraq's government is looking to BP to develop them.
British energy giant BP has signed a deal with Iraq to develop oil fields in the northern province of Kirkuk that was retaken from the Kurds last year.

Jabbar al-Luaybi, the Iraqi oil minister, signed the agreement in Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, reported AFP.

Kirkuk's lucrative oil fields were seized from Kurdish Peshmerga by Iraqi government forces in October following an independence vote by Iraqi Kurds in a controversial referendum opposed by Baghdad.

Peshmerga militias had held the oil fields in the disputed territory since capturing it in 2014 during the chaos of the Islamic State group’s rampage.

Late last year Iraq agreed in principle to export oil from Kirkuk to Iran, and to build a new pipeline to ship oil from Kirkuk to the Ceyhan port in Turkey.

The deal would see 30,000-60,000 barrels of oil exported to Iran's Kermanshah province.

According to experts, a parallel Iraqi pipeline could take up to two years.

Work to renovate a parallel Iraqi pipeline could take up to two years, according to experts.

Baghdad believes the Kirkuk province has a production capacity of 420,000 barrels a day, but only 120,000 barrels a day are being pumped none exported.

After Saudi Arabia, Iraq is the second largest producer in the OPEC cartel, and hopes to increase output to one million barrels a day.

Iraq’s oil ministry signed a consultancy contract with BP in 2013, however the development of the Havana and Baba Gurgur fields in Kirkuk was never implemented as Baghdad lost control of the fields to Kurdish forces. 

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