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Work On Iraqi Oil Pipeline Years Behind Schedule


http://gdb.rferl.org/8681B967-3FC0-4295-B67A-C85FF418A835_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/8681B967-3FC0-4295-B67A-C85FF418A835_mw800_mh600.jpg The Shirawa oil field pictured here is one of a number near Kirkuk (AFP) August 1, 2006 -- A plan to rebuild a 50-kilometer pipeline from Iraq's Kirkuk oil field to the Bayji refinery is years behind schedule, with no sign it will ever be finished.


That is the conclusion of a report released on July 31 by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), a U.S. federal agency monitoring how Iraqi reconstruction money is spent. The report says a total of $82 million from the coalition force's Development Fund for Iraq was allocated for repair of the pipeline, but it is not clear how much had actually been spent.


It says Kellogg, Brown, and Root -- a Halliburton subsidiary that was originally supposed to build the pipeline -- gave varied estimates of the actual cost of work performed, ranging from $1.8 million in March 2004 to less than $1 million in June 2004.


"Revenue potential of approximately $14.8 billion has been lost to the Iraqi government due to the unavailability of increased capacity for moving oil," the report says.


(Reuters)

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