Iraq new oil terminal loading in 10 days
Majnoon, February 7, 2012
Iraq should start loading crude at its first new Gulf export terminal in the south within 10 days after bad weather and technical problems delayed its initial start, a state oil official said on Tuesday.
Iraq plans a $1.3 billion expansion of its Gulf port export facilities in the Basra oil region, including undersea and onshore pipelines and single point moorings or SPMs for loading tankers as it rebuilds its industry after years of war.
It had planned the inauguration of the first terminal in January, but pushed the opening back to finish pipeline connections and testing on onshore and offshore sections, officials said last month.
'Maybe in a week to 10 days,' South Oil Company deputy director Faisal Khalaf said when asked when the first SPM would begin exporting.
Export capacity limitations have hampered Iraq's ambitions to enter the ranks of the world's top oil producers by bringing its output capacity to 12 million barrels per day (bpd). Most analysts see 6-7 million bpd as more realistic.
OPEC-member Iraq is currently producing around 3 million bpd while exports averaged 2.165 million bpd last year. Exports are expected to average around 2.5 million bpd this year, according to government figures. – Reuters