LOS ANGELES, Apr. 15 -- Iraq's state-owned North Oil Co. has signed a preliminary agreement with Russia's Stroytransgaz for the repair of the Iraqi section of the 880-km Kirkuk-Banias oil pipeline. In 2007, Stroytransgaz received a contract to bring the Syrian section of the line back into working condition.
The Kirkuk-Banias pipeline had a carrying capacity of 300,000 b/d before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, but its original capacity when built in the 1950s was 1.4 million b/d.
The pipeline was closed for much of the 1970s and 1980s. In the 1990s, it was reopened so Iraq could bypass the United Nations oil embargo. At the time, reports put Iraq's exports through the line at about 150,000-200,000 b/d.
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