by Sgt. Michael Tuttle
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
KIRKUK, Iraq – Work continued in the western part of the Kirkuk province Oct. 11 on a new oil pipeline that will significantly increase Iraq's oil production.
The National Oil Company, with support from the Iraqi Army and 25th Infantry Division Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, worked to fix a bad weld found after x-raying the pipeline, said Capt. Daniel Blackmon, battalion operations officer.
The new pipeline is bigger and stronger than the current pipeline and will possibly double Iraq's oil production, Blackmon said. Once the pipeline gets running it will be a major benefit to the Iraqi infrastructure and government.
While much of the pipeline has been in the ground for some time, repairs haven't been finished due to harassment by insurgents. Progress continues to be made as the Iraqi Army, with support of 3-7, provides security for the NOC.
"The National Oil Company has analyzed what needs to be done," said Lt. Col. Jack Pritchard, battalion commander. "They've made their plan and are now working on fixing it."
Once the repairs are complete, water will be pumped through the new pipelines to ensure their readiness. After the tests, Iraq will be able to benefit from the increased oil production.