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April 09, 2003

Report: Israel, Jordan to talk on Iraq pipeline

This article seems to indicate a willingness to face realities, at least at the governmental level, and should be viewed alongside this item from DEBKA: "US special operations forces have sabotaged Kirkuk-Banias pipeline cutting flow of illegal Iraqi oil exports smuggled through Syria. Damascus notifies buyers that 2003 supply diminished by 40pc, equal to 240,000bpd – exactly the quantity that Iraq previously pumped through"
TEL AVIV - Israel and Jordan will hold meetings about the possibility of restarting an oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel via Jordan that was closed 55 years ago, a National Infrastructure Ministry source said on Wednesday.

The source said that minister Yosef Paritzky (Shinui) will meet Jordanian officials about restarting the pipeline, which sent Iraqi oil from Mosul to the northern Israeli port of Haifa during the British mandate period, on the assumption a pro-Western government will be set up following the U.S.-led war.

"Jordan contacted the prime minister's office who asked the minister (Paritzky) to meet with the Jordanian officials," the source told Reuters. "We know the section of the pipeline here is in excellent condition but we want to know what the Jordanian part is like and whether it can be restarted easily."

Haaretz reported on March 31 that Paritzky had requested an assessment of the condition of the old pipeline from Mosul to Haifa, with an eye toward renewing the flow of oil in the event of friendly post-war regime in Iraq.

Paritzky explained to Haaretz that resurrecting the pipeline to Haifa could save Israel the high cost of shipping oil from Russia. [more]