ERBIL — A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Monday by the Iraqi oil minister and his Iranian counter-part to study the construction of a pipeline between the two countries for exporting crude oil from the northern Iraqi fields of Kirkuk via Iran, the Iraqi oil ministry stated.

Jabar al-Luaibi, the Iraqi oil minister and his Iranian counter-part, Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, signed the MoU in Baghdad to plan the construction of an oil pipeline for exporting the Kirkuk crude oil via Iran. The agreement also calls for a commission to settle a conflict over the joint oilfields and the possible transportation of Iraqi crude to Iran’s Abadan refinery, according to the statement.

The two ministers have also agreed to cooperate on the policies of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

However, since the Iraqi army collapsed in several northern cities, including Kirkuk, in the wake of the Islamic State (IS) attack in 2014, the oil fields of the city have been protected by the Kurdistan Region Peshmerga forces.