BAGHDAD, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Iraq plans to build a pipeline network to carry oil products across all its territory as an alternative to expensive and hazardous transport by tanker truck, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Saturday.
The network is part of a “strategic” plan for oil transportation that includes pipelines to deliver crude and oil products to neighbouring countries, he said.
The only crude pipeline now in operation in Iraq links the northern, semi-autonomous Kurdish region to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.
All other crude pipelines were shut down or destroyed in the past 35 years as a result of wars and conflicts. iRAQ, OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia, once had an extensive network of pipelines to export its crude.
One of them carried Iraqi oil across Syria to Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast, another to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, largely bypassing the Kurdish region, and one to the Red Sea across Saudi Arabia.
Iraq earlier this month announced plans to build a crude pipeline to fellow OPEC member Iran. (Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; editing by Mark Heinrich)