Russian, Iraqi companies conduct talks on pipeline reconstruction

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Moscow, Mar 27 (UNI) In a sign of increasing bilateral cooperation, Stroytransgaz, one of Russia's largest engineering and construction companies, and Iraq's North Oil Company have conducted another round of talks on reconstructing Kirkuk-Baniyas oil pipeline in Iraq.

The pipeline designed to transport crude from north Iraqi fields to the Syrian port of Baniyas, was destroyed by the US Air Force during the strike on Iraq in 2003.

The parties signed a protocol on Stroytransgaz's involvement in the project, to inspect and reconstruct the pipeline and discussed the technical state and working conditions, the Russian company reported.

Stroytransgaz, which is partly owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom, builds oil and gas facilities and operates in 15 countries.

Last February, after the visit of Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to Moscow, Russian oil company LUKoil expressed the hope that it might regain the right to develop Iraq's giant West Qurna-2 oil field, which was suspended in 2002.

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