IRAQ: Pipelines or pipe dreams?

Blanche, Ed
June 2003
Middle East;Jun2003, Issue 335, p48
The article investigates the prospects of oil deals between Iraq and Israel. The Israeli daily 'Haaretz' reported that National Infrastructure Minister Joseph Paritzky was seriously considering the possibility of reopening the long-defunct oil pipeline from Mosul to the Mediterranean port of Haifa in northern Israel. The pipeline has been inoperative since 1948, when the flow of oil from Iraq's northern oilfields was redirected from Haifa to Syria when the British mandate in Palestine expired. To resume supplies from Mosul to the refinery at Haifa would require the approval of whatever Iraqi government emerges following the downfall of Saddam's regime and presumably also of the Jordanian government, through whose territory it would likely run as the old one did. However, Amman, which depended on Iraq for heavily discounted oil with UN agreement, had been negotiating with Baghdad before the war to build a pipeline from the Kirkuk oilfields to the kingdom rather than trucking the fuel, so presumably any deal involving the Israelis as well could simply mean extending that project to Haifa.


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