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Rosneft completes Iraqi Kurdistan export pipeline study

State-controlled Russian oil producer Rosneft has taken a step forward in its plan to commit significant investments to oil and gas infrastructure projects in Iraqi Kurdistan, saying that it has now completed a due diligence study on a new export oil pipeline from the region, writes Vladimir Afanasiev.

Rosneft added that it can now move into finalising legally binding documents to finance the construction of the pipeline, which the company will operate.

The company said it is also studying an opportunity to build, own and operate a gas transmission network inside Iraqi Kurdistan, aiming to deliver gas internally and to export destinations.

While Rosneft expects to sign an agreement with Iraqi Kurdistan authorities on the oil pipeline “shortly”, it said a separate agreement on the gas pipeline network should be finalised by the end of this year.

Rosneft said both projects are part of a larger investment agreement that it signed with Iraqi Kurdistan authorities in June in St Petersburg.

Following the agreement, the Kurdistan Regional Government said Rosneft could become operator of five oil and gas fields under Kurdish control.

However, since then, Rosneft and Kurdish authorities have not identified the assets in question.

The company has been looking at these assets since end of 2015 when it asked DeGolyer & MacNaughton to provide an independent assessment of their hydrocarbon resources.

Rosneft said earlier this week that both of these oil and gas pipeline projects will complement its development plans for the five unnamed fields.