KSA counters Iran Hormuz threat by reopening Iraq pipeline

Pipeline01Saudi Arabia has reopened an old oil pipeline in order to bypass Gulf shipping lanes after Iran threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation to US and European sanctions

The pipeline, built by Iraq in 1980s, will give Riyadh scope to export more of its crude from Red Sea terminals.

International pressure has been growing on Iran to curb its nuclear programme, with the European Union's embargo on buying Iranian oil coming into place on July 1, 2012. 

The Iraqi Pipeline in Saudi Arabia was laid across the kingdom by the Saddam Hussein regime after oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf during Iran-Iraq war. The line has not, however, carried Iraqi crude since 1990.

The pipeline, used to transport gas from the east of the country to power plants in the west in the last few years, was confiscated by Saudi Arabia in 2001 as compensation for debts owed by Iraq.

More than a third of the world’s sea-borne oil exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz from the oilfields of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar.

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