Signaling its preference for Turkish pipeline construction companies to build the new 970-km Kirkuk - Ceyhan export oil pipeline, the Iraqi central government appealed last week for Turkish companies to participate in the pipeline project. Project finance will be along the lines of a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) model, which will mitigate risk for the cash-strapped Iraqi government.
Sources who closely follow the energy sector emphasized that the daily capacity of the new pipeline would be 1 million barrels, and that it would start from Iraq's Saladdin province, expand over Kirkuk and Mosul to the Faysh Khabur region and then reach Turkey.
Daesh (ISIS) seized the pipeline in 2014 and it rapidly fell into disrepair. Oil flow was erratic and frequent breakdowns and sabotage rendered the pipeline essentially useless. The new pipeline will be constructed along the same route as the first.
According to BOTAŞ, the state-run Turkish pipeline operator, the original Kirkuk - Ceyhan pipeline has been transporting 70.9 million tons per year.