Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Jordanian trucks to ferry Iraqi oil to Jordan

Region, Oil
(Azzaman) - More than 2,000 Jordanian tanker trucks have been readied to ferry Iraqi crude oil to the Kingdom’s refinery at al-Zarqa. Iraqi tanker trucks will be involved but will not be allowed to cross the border. They will carry the crude from Kirkuk and unload it into specially built storage tanks on the border. The Jordanian tanker trucks will transfer the crude from the border to the refinery.
Fifteen such storage tanks have been built but no Iraqi tanker truck has surfaced on the border yet. Iraq has agreed to resume exporting discounted crude oil supplies to Jordan. The volume is reported to start with 10,000 barrels a day and steadily rocket to 30,000. Under former leader Saddam Hussein, Iraq met all Jordan’s energy needs of nearly 100,000 barrels a day at preferential prices. Iraqi tanker trucks then drove directly to al-Zarqa refinery close to Amman, the capital.
Analysts say Iraq may not be able to meet its obligation under the deal due to the upsurge in violence along the Iraqi portion of the highway. Iraqi drivers are reported to be reluctant to drive along the highway despite incentives. Tanker trucks are now the main target of Qaeda and other anti-U.S. and anti-government groups.
The trucks are now increasingly being used in suicide bombing attacks. Their drivers are kidnapped and only released after their families pay hefty ransoms. Trucks passing through rebel areas are usually heavily taxed. Drivers refusing to pay are either killed or kidnapped.

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