Basra oil exports drop due to bad weather
Baghdad, February 9, 2011
Oil exports from Iraq's southern Basra terminal dropped to 984,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Wednesday from 1.896 million bpd the previous day due to bad weather, a shipping source said.
"High winds made it difficult for some ships to reach the berth," the shipper said on condition of anonymity.
Exports from Basra, Iraq's main oil-exporting hub, can fluctuate widely due to weather or technical problems.
Iraq, which has some of the world's largest crude reserves, exported an average 2.163 million barrels of oil per day in January, reaching its highest export levels since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) said that average exports from Basra stood at 1.74 million bpd for January.
Iraq's oil production is currently at 2.7 million bpd, the first time it has reached that level in 20 years as investment increased and violence dropped.
In 2009, the government auctioned off some of Iraq's biggest oilfields. The deals have the potential to raise its output capacity to 12 million bpd in about six years, though analysts say 6-7 million bpd is a more realistic target. – Reuters