Crude prices are estimated to rise significantly if Iran implements its threats to close Hormuz.”
Iraq’s Oil Ministry spokesman, Asim Jihad
Asim Jihad told Bloomberg on Thursday that if the Strait of Hormuz is closed, “Iraq will have to depend on the northern route from where it can export 450,000 bpd through Turkey’s port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean.”
On New Year’s Eve, US President Barack Obama signed into law fresh unilateral economic sanctions against Iran‘s Central Bank in an apparent bid to punish other countries for buying the country’s crude oil. The European Union followed suit by slapping new sanctions against Iran‘s oil imports in a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers on January 23.
Referring to Iran’s threats for closing the strait, the Iraqi official said, “Crude prices are estimated to rise significantly if Iran implements its threats to close Hormuz,” adding, this way Iraq can compensate for some of its oil export losses once it is deprived of its southern export route via the Persian Gulf.
Iraqi prime minister’s top adviser, Thamir Ghadhban, said on February 2 that Iraq is pursuing plans to open new crude export routes via neighboring Syria.
Baghdad has awarded 15 licenses for drilling rights to foreign companies since the US-led invasion of the country which ousted its former dictator, Saddam Hussein, from power in 2003.
Iraq is currently the third-largest oil producer in OPEC, pumping 2.75 million barrels a day in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
The US, Israel and their European allies accuse Iran of diversion in its peaceful nuclear program and have used this as an excuse to pass four rounds of international sanctions against the country at the UN Security Council.
Refuting the claims, Tehran insists that as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency and signatory the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it is fully entitled to peaceful applications of the nuclear energy.
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