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[casi] Kirkuk oil - whose $$$$ ?

Baghdad- a media light show distraction for TV audiences?  The fight for
Kirkuk, Mosel  low-sulpher oil  is the real prize for US? Who is presently
getting the Iraqi oil sale money?

Dow Jones Newswires
Iraq Kirkuk Oil Pipeline To Ceyhan Still Pumping-Sources

ISTANBUL -(Dow Jones)- A pipeline from Iraq's northern Kirkuk oil field to
Turkey's Mediterranean export terminal Ceyhan is still operating normally
Tuesday, despite reports of explosions in Kirkuk Monday, port sources said.

At least six explosions were heard Monday around Kirkuk, MSNBC reported. The
network also reported from the area that more U.S. forces had arrived and
still larger units were expected.

But Iraq continues to pump oil to Ceyhan at a reduced rate of 200,000 to
300, 000 barrels a day to extend the time before available storage at the
terminal is filled. Port sources say the storage will be full in around a

Iraq will be forced to shut down the pipeline - a technically problematic
move - if the storage facilities become filled. The last vessel taking oil
from Ceyhan left March 20 and no other vessels are scheduled to load.

Turkish sources said they have no concerns about the pipeline's security.

"Before the recent strike on Iraq, Turkish and U.S. officials reached
consensus that the pipeline will remain intact and secure," said a Turkish
Energy Ministry official.

"We're providing security on our side, and the U.S. has planned to do  so in
Northern Iraq," he added.

The Iraq-Turkey pipeline, opened in 1976 and operated almost nonstop during
the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 through 1988. The pipeline was also unharmed
during the 1991 Gulf War.

Iraqi oil exports through the pipeline were halted by Turkey after Iraq's
invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and in line with the international embargo
against Baghdad.

Occasional sabotage attacks on the pipeline in the last 10 years have led to
few days of interruption, at most. However, sources say an attack on a
pumping station would bring more serious interruptions.

Due to technical shortcomings and lack of proper maintenance, the pipeline
has for years been operating well below its original daily capacity of 1.6
million barrels.

Dow Jones Newswires

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