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Jordan, Egypt, Iraq to Implement Major Gas, Oil Pipeline Projects

March 6, 2014

AMMAN, (Xinhua) --

Jordan, Iraq and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday under which natural gas will be supplied from Iraq to Jordan and Egypt, Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said.

The plan will connect the natural gas fields in Iraq to the Arab Gas Pipeline, which stretches from Egypt's Arish in northern Sinai through Jordan to Lebanon, Mohammad Hamed, Jordan's minister of energy, said in a press conference Thursday.

When the natural gas fields in Iraq are connected to the pipeline, natural gas can be supplied to Jordan, Egypt and other countries where the pipeline exists such as Syria and Lebanon, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi said.

According to the Iraqi minister, the three countries also want to study extending an oil pipeline that will stretch from Iraq's Basra to Jordan's Aqaba to the Egyptian territories.

The 18 billion U.S. dollar oil pipeline, which will transfer one million barrels of oil per day from Basra to Aqaba, will be completed in early 2018, Hamed said, adding that Iraq seeks to extend the pipeline to Egypt to use it as a gateway to transport its oil to other African countries.

Speaking during the press conference, Egyptian Oil Minister Sherif Ismail said Egypt was ready to process and refine the Iraqi crude oil that will reach through the pipeline at its refineries and help export it to other African states.

He added that Egypt's natural gas supply to Jordan has been interrupted by several bombings targeting the pipeline and is now being repaired.

The planned natural gas agreement could be hampered if the bombings of pipelines in Egypt continue. Since former president Mohamed Morsi's removal by the military in July 2013, gas pipelines in the Sinai have been targeted several times, with authorities often blaming Islamist extremists.

Jordan, which imports about 96 percent of its energy needs annually, was forced to resort to buying expensive diesel and heavy fuel for power generation after cuts in gas supplies from Egypt.

Jordan is planning to implement several oil shale and renewable energy projects for the production of electricity. The majority of these projects are expected to be operational in 2018.

Editor: Mengjie

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