Operations resume at Iraq oil export terminal
Baghdad, March 24, 2012
Iraq's new offshore oil export terminal resumed operations and loading late on Thursday, sources at the state-owned South Oil Company said.
The terminal started working at 7.30 p.m. (1630 GMT) and was loading at 576,000 barrels per day, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters.
'After finishing some technical and operational issues, the new export terminal resumed operations on Thursday evening,' sources at the South Oil Co. said on Friday.
Iraq's Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi had said earlier on Thursday that bad weather and not technical faults was behind an interruption in the operation of the new offshore oil terminal, designed to ramp up exports.
Iraq, which has some of the world's biggest oil reserves, has sweeping plans to increase its oil output and exports, which have been held back by a lack of loading infrastructure in the Gulf.
The new single point mooring (SPM) terminal - the first of four being built by Australia's Leighton Holdings - came online on March 8 and loaded a tanker with 2 million barrels of oil by March 13, although it has not been operating since.
Shipping data also showed exports from Iraq's southern oil terminals rose to 2.4 million bpd on Friday from 1.94 million bpd on Thursday, its highest level since 2003.
On Thursday, Mahmood al-Luibi, director general assistant of the South Oil Co., said it aimed to boost output at its southern oilfields to six million bpd in the next three years.-Reuters