Iran, Iraq moving closer to construction of Kirkuk pipeline: minister

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists during a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, Austria, November 30, 2016. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran and Iraq are moving closer to building a pipeline that would export crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran, Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Sunday after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Jabar al-Luaibi, according to the official news site of the Iranian oil ministry.

Agreements were reached between the two ministers about an international company that will carry out a feasibility study of the project, Zanganeh was quoted as saying in the SHANA report.

Iraq and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding in February to study the construction of the pipeline.

Separately, Zanganeh said Iran would begin exporting gas to the Iraqi city of Basra in coming months.

He said there had been some problems in receiving payments for current gas exports to Iraq via banks and that Iran was receiving cash payments.

Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Dale Hudson