Jordan in talks with Iraq to extend oil supply agreement |


Jordan and Iraq have reportedly initiated talks to restart Iraqi oil exports to the kingdom, energy officials said, after another halt in a deal long affected by political disagreement between the two countries.

The latest pause comes after Jordan drew the ire of Iran’s allies in the Middle East by helping to intercept missile and armed drone barrages on Israel last month, in rare, direct hostilities between Israel and Iran.

It also follows a visit of Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Meshal to Jordan late last month, during which both countries called on Iraq to adhere to a maritime deal that was annulled by the Iraqi Federal Supreme Court in September and to complete the delineation of the maritime border.

That has sparked anger in Iraq, mainly among Shia lawmakers.

Over the last four years, Jordan has been among regional countries that responded positively to overtures by Iraq to improve ties, although plans for joint economic projects remain mostly unrealised.

The cessation of Iraq’s crude oil exports to Jordan is due to the expiry of a memorandum of understanding signed between the Iraqi government and the Jordanian government on May 4, 2023.

The Director of the Oil and Natural Gas Sector in Jordan’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Iman Awad said that the Jordanian ministry communicated with the Iraqi oil ministry to extend the agreement for three more months under the same contractual conditions.

Awad added that the Jordanian ministry is closely following up with the Iraqi side and the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad to obtain the required approvals from the Iraqi authorities to resume oil exports to Jordan.

Ties between Iraq and Jordan have soured since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the rise of Iran-backed Shia groups to power. Three years later, however, Iraq agreed to export 10,000 barrels of crude oil per day, at a discount, from its Kirkuk fields to Jordan, as part of an attempt to improve ties.

The flows, which account for seven percent of Jordanian oil imports, have been frequently interrupted, especially during delicate periods of political tensions.

Jordan, which produces negligible volumes of oil, relies on Saudi Arabian imports for most of its crude oil needs.

A western diplomat said the latest halt of Iraqi oil exports was expected, given the deterioration of ties between Jordan and Iran.

“The halt is part of an implicit Iranian threat that Jordan cannot expect to enjoy normal business exchange with Iraq,” the diplomat said.

Officials in Jordan have frequently claimed that the Iraqi government cannot act on any improvement of ties with Amman without approval from Tehran.

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