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Iran, Iraq Initialize Plans For Oil Sector Cooperation

The governments of Iraq and Iran have signed a memorandum of understanding about conducting a joint study for a possible pipeline to export oil through Iran from Iraq's Kirkuk region.

The oil ministers of the two countries signed the memorandum in Baghdad on February 20.

The agreement also envisions the creation of a bilateral commission that would work to resolve issues related to oil fields that are jointly held by Iran and Iraq.

Iran's Oil Ministry recently has been focusing on trying to develop oil production from five oil fields near the Iran-Iraq border that Tehran shares with Iraq.

They are the Yadavaran, North Azadegan, South Azadegan, North Yaran, and South Yaran oil fields.

Iran's Oil Ministry estimated in January that crude oil output capacity from its joint fields with Iraq currently is about 300,000 barrels per day.

The proposed Iran-Iraq bilateral commission also would be tasked with studying the possible shipment of Iraqi crude oil to a refinery in Iran's southwestern city of Abadan -- a strategic Euphrates River refinery port on the Iran-Iraq border about 50 kilometers north of the Persian Gulf.

The oil ministers on February 20 also agreed to coordinate their countries' positions within the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

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