The state-owned Turkish Pipeline Company (BOTAŞ) has launched feasibility studies for the Turkish segment of the planned Iraq-Turkey natural gas pipeline, to be built parallel to the existing Kirkuk-Yumurtalık oil pipeline. BOTAŞ will complete the segment of pipeline that crosses through Turkey's territory along a Silopi-Bismil-Şırnak-Diyarbakır-Yumurtalık line.
The project aims to transfer 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Iraqi natural gas annually to the Turkish and world markets. The project management will be carried out by the Iraqi Oil Ministry and the BOTAŞ-Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) joint initiative, according to a memorandum of understanding signed on Aug.17, 2007, between the Turkish and Iraqi energy ministers.
The project will be completed by private contractor Tekfen, TPAO and BOTAŞ according to projections as to developments in Iraq and the energy need in European markets.
The project is an integrated one covering the exploration, extraction, processing and transportation of natural gas in Iraq's northeast. Around 10 bcm of natural gas will be extracted from five different fields and then transported to world markets through Turkey.
The construction tender will be held by BOTAŞ, as was the case with previous projects, and the tender will be open to international bidders. The pipeline will be 30-40 inches wide and will include many pump stations, proportional to the amount of gas the line is to carry. A liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal will be established in Yumurtalık to process and transport a portion of the gas to world markets via supertanker.
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Güler previously said talks regarding the Iraq-Turkey natural gas pipeline were on track and that the estimated 280 bcm of natural gas in Iraqi reserves would be exported to European markets via Turkey.
Today's Zaman Ankara