Iraq has approved a plan to expand its oil export routes to increase the capacity of their deposits in the north and building a pipeline to send gas from its southern fields to Ceyhan in Turkey, as explained on Sunday Ali al-Dabbagh, a government spokesman.
The contingency plan has been established by the Committee on Energy and Economy for the Government to deal with a possible crisis if Iran closed the Strait of Hormuz, which could stop about 80 percent of exports Iraq's oil.
Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used to move a third of world seaborne oil trade, whether the measures in the West to veto paralyzed oil exports Iranian energy sector.
"The plans in the short and medium term will be through a boost oil output and increased export capacity through the port of Ceyhan in Turkey. Also increase the number of trucks that are sending oil," al-Dabbagh has detailed.
The spokesman said that the plans approved by the Government are a short term measure based on recommendations from the Ministry of Petroleum and has said it would increase efforts to convince Iran and the U.S. of the need to prevent the closure of the strait.
"The Ministry of Oil suggested accelerate work to complete construction of the Northern strategic pipeline and connected to the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline to export oil from Basra through the port of Ceyhan," said Dabbagh.
Iraq has also made progress with the construction of a pipeline of 680 kilometers, capable of carrying one million barrels of crude oil from southern fields around Basra to a main pumping station at Haditha in western, reported Asim Jihad, an Oil Ministry spokesman.
"We managed to complete the construction of 200 miles of pipeline with plans to complete all work in 2013. We will have the flexibility to send crude from Basra to several destinations, including the port of Ceyhan," said Jihad.
The Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline has been sabotaged several times since the U.S. invasion in 2003 and usually has glitches that prevent its operation.
Under the contingency plan, Iraq could reuse the oil pipeline between Iraq and Syria as a long-term measure to ship crude oil from southern fields to Banias on the Mediterranean. Also this raised the possibility of building a pipeline to transport crude oil to Aqaba port in Jordan.
Last year, Iraqi and Jordanian officials said the two countries agreed in principle to build a pipeline to supply Jordan in the future.