30 January 2008, The pipeline will largely run along the same route as the twin oil pipelines from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port of Yumurtalık in Turkey. The study will be sponsored by BOTAŞ, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPOA) and the Iraqi oil ministry
Turkey has begun a feasibility study on a natural gas pipeline that will connect northern Iraq's fields to a Turkish port. The Turkish Pipeline Petroleum Company (BOTAŞ) announced that feasibility studies on the Turkish side have started, according to the Anatolia news agency.
The pipeline will largely run along the same route as the twin oil pipelines from Kirkuk to the Mediterranean port of Yumurtalık in Turkey. The study will be sponsored by BOTAŞ, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPOA) and the Iraqi oil ministry. BOTAŞ will hold the right to put to tender the 30-40 inch pipeline and various pumping stations, and ask for bids from international markets.
Gas not consumed in Turkey will be loaded onto tankers in the form of liquefied natural gas and transferred to world markets. Once the northern Iraq gas fields are developed, 353 billion cubic feet of natural gas will flow to the port of Yumurtalık. The Turkey-Iraq Natural Gas Pipeline Project, developed to transport Iraqi gas to Turkey, comes after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Turkish Energy Ministry and the Iraqi oil minister in Ankara on Aug. 7, 2007. The parties have declared their intention to transport Iraqi gas to Europe through Turkey and their decision to form a group composed of members from the Iraqi petroleum ministry, BOTAŞ and TPAO in order to initiate the related feasibility studies.
The project was also on the agenda during energy talks between the U.S. and Turkish presidents in Washington earlier this month. Abdullah Gül and George W. Bush agreed to work together with Iraq to develop its oil and gas sector during their meeting in Washington, Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Güler told CNN-Türk. Turkey's Energy Ministry and the Iraqi petroleum minister first initiated the project studies through agreements that were signed in 1996. As a result of the sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations, the project was delayed and therefore the investment phase of the project could not be initiated. Considering the developments in Iraq since that time and the increase in energy demand in Europe, the TPAO and BOTAŞ are currently taking the necessary steps in order to further the project. The ultimate purpose of the project is to transport Iraqi gas to Turkey at first and then on to Europe.
Iraq has 111 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves but the sector is underdeveloped. The country is also in talks to develop the Akkas gas field in Anbar province, which would send gas to Syria and possibly to Europe as well. Turkey is eyeing Iraq's gas as it further solidifies its role as a main transport hub for the world's hydrocarbon resources.
Turkish Daily News