Iraq-Iran Oil Pipeline
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
Iraq-Iran Oil Pipeline is a proposed oil pipeline in Iraq and Iran. There have been no development updates since 2017 and the project is presumed to be shelved.
The proposed pipeline will from Kirkuk, Iraq, to the Abadan refinery, Iran.
- Operator: State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP)
- Current capacity:
- Proposed capacity:
- Status: Shelved
- Start Year:
In February 2017, Iran and Iraq signed a Memorandum of Understanding to study the construction of a crude oil pipeline from Kirkuk to the Abadan refinery in Iran. The study will investigate possible routes to the refinery and is part of a much larger $3 billion project by National Iranian Oil Refining & Distribution Company and Sinopec to upgrade the Abadan refinery.
In July 2017, both Iran and Iraq came to further agreements on the pipeline, stating that they would reach out to an international company to conduct a feasibility study of the project.
There have been no development updates since 2017 and the project is presumed to be shelved.
Controversy and Opposition
In August 2017, the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan stated was uninformed of the agreement between the Iraqi central government and Iran, while also claiming that such a deal was in violation of US sanctions on Iran. To complicate matters, the Kurdish referendum on Independence from the state of Iraq could nullify any agreement between the Iraqi central government and Iran. The region of Kirkuk, where most of the oil deposits lie, is located in the Kurdish autonomous region.
U.S. Economic Sanctions
The U.S. granted a sanctions waiver to Iraq for electricity and natural gas imports from Iran, but this was not extended to its oil supply deal with Iran, putting the Iraq-Iran Oil Pipeline's future into question. The U.S. has pressured Iraq to wean itself off of Iranian gas and power supplies in exchange for U.S. supplies, according to industry and military sources. Iraq does not produce enough power itself or have enough feedstock for its existing power plants. Imports from Iran account for nearly 30% of Iraq’s 14,000 MW of daily electricity consumption. Cutting that supply would have devastating impacts on Iraq’s economy and political stability. 
Articles and resources
- Iraq-Iran Oil Pipeline, Oil & Gas Year, accessed September 2017
- Iraq and Iran sign MoU on Kirkuk oil export pipeline study, Reuters, February 20, 2017
- Iraq, Iran study export pipeline for Kirkuk oil, The Oil & Gas Year, February 20, 2017
- Iran, Iraq Agree to Build Kirkuk Pipeline, Iraq Business News, July 31, 2017
- Tsvetana Paraskova, Kurdistan Claims Iraq-Iran Oil Pipeline Violates U.S. Sanctions, Oilprice.com, August 01, 2017
- Iraq-Iran oil ties hampered by US sanctions Hellenic Shipping News, June 02, 2019