Iraq approves Hormuz oil exports contingency plan

March 18, 2012 17:46

BAGHDAD - Iraq has approved a plan to expand its oil export routes by adding capacity from its northern fields and building a pipeline to ship oil from southern fields to Ceyhan in Turkey, a government spokesman said.

The contingency plan was set by the government's energy and economic committee to deal with any potential crisis should Iran close the Strait of Hormuz, which would halt about 80 percent of Iraq's oil exports.

Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world's seaborne oil trade, if Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports crippled its energy sector.

"Short and mid-term plans will be through boosting crude pumping and upgrading export capacity via Ceyhan port in Turkey. Also to increase the number of trucks that are shipping crude," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said on Sunday.

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