Iraq has started construction on a $18 billion oil-export pipeline to deliver crude oil from the southern city of Basra to the Jordanian port of Aqaba on the Red Sea, Dow Jones Newswires reported. Oil production in Iraq has grown 15 percent in 2012 and the pipeline, which will bypass the Strait of Hormuz, will provide an alternative for the country to export its resources, the article stated.
The pipeline will be approximately 1,043 miles long. The first phase will be built to export about 1 million barrels of oil per day from Basra, which pumps about 2.3 million barrels a day. The area produces about 70 percent of Iraq's total oil production, according to Dow Jones. This first phase of the project has been set as a priority, Jamal Faleh Hassan, head of designs section at the State Company for Oil Projects, an affiliate of the Iraqi oil ministry, said.
Hassan added that the second phase of the pipeline will export another 1.25 million barrels of oil per day to the Syrian Banias port, the article stated.
The Gazzetta del Sud said the pipeline will be the largest economic project in the Arab world to date. It's expected construction of the pipeline will create 10,000 jobs in Iraq and about 3,000 jobs in Jordan.