Iraq opens new oil terminal

Iraq inaugurated a new offshore oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in a vital step to ease infrastructure constraints and to bring sorely needed cash for reconstruction after decades of war and international sanctions.

Iraq inaugurated a new offshore oil export terminal in the Persian Gulf on Sunday in a vital step to ease infrastructure constraints and to bring sorely needed cash for reconstruction after decades of war and international sanctions.

During a ceremony in the oil-rich province of Basra, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki opened the tap to start experimental pumping for the floating terminal located about 35 miles (60 kilometres) off Iraq’s coast.

Iraq plans to start the actual loading of crude in a week to 10 days, initially boosting oil exports through the country’s south — which currently stand at about 1.7 million barrels a day — by 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day, said Dhia Jaafar, the director-general of the state-run South Oil Co.

The terminal’s full capacity will be 900,000 barrels a day.

The new Single Point Mooring (SPM) is the first of five export facilities that would eventually handle about 5 million barrels a day.

The second floating terminal will be ready in the coming two to three months, Jaafar added.

The project is part of a $1.3 billion plan to expand export facilities in the south.

“With this project we will have no problems for the coming ten years regarding our oil export capacity,” said Falah al-Amiri. chief of Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization.

Iraq currently produces 2.9 million barrels a day and its total daily oil exports averaged 2.145 million barrels in December.

It plans to pump 3.4 million barrels this year and to increase exports to 2.6 million barrels a day.

The government relies on oil exports for 95 per cent of its revenue.

Although Iraq sits atop the world’s fourth largest proven reserves of conventional crude, about 143.1 billion barrels, decades of sanctions, war, sabotage and neglect have battered the sector.

Since 2008, Iraq has awarded 15 oil and gas deals to international energy companies, the first major investments in the country’s energy industry in more than three decades.

Baghdad aims to raise daily output to 12 million barrels by 2017, a level that would put it nearly on par with Saudi Arabia’s current production capacity. Many analysts say that target is unrealistic, because of the degraded state of the industry’s infrastructure after wars and an international embargo that lasted more than a decade.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People board and leave at the Century Park light-rail transit station in Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

Alberta Health Services declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Revera Aspen Ridge on Feb. 1. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Two COVID deaths linked to Revera seniors residence in Red Deer

35 active COVID cases at seniors residence

Red Deer musician Lorry Boschman has written a song about love in the time of COVID-19. Proceeds from his single, Romance during a Pandemic, will be donated to the local United Way. (Contributed photo).
Local musician records a song about love in the time of COVID-19 — for charity

Lorry Boschman will donate some proceeds to the United Way

Preliminary data shows Alberta’s suicide rate declined in 2020 — but some mental health critics say it’s too early to draw any conclusions since more dire pandemic impacts are only now being felt. (metrocreative stock)
Alberta’s suicide rate seems to have declined in 2020

But some experts say it’s too early to credit the pandemic

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre can accommodate up to 20 patients requiring a ventilator, says Alberta Health Services.  File photo by Advocate staff
Opinion: UCP government reneging on Red Deer hospital funding

Another year, another Alberta budget and another blow to central Albertans. Budget… Continue reading

Seattle Storm guards Sue Bird, right, and Jordin Canada pose for photos Wednesday, March 3, 2021, on the roof of the Space Needle in Seattle after they raised a flag with the team's new logo on it. Bird re-signed with the Storm earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Lille players celebrate after Jonathan David scored his side's second goal during the French League One soccer match between Lille and Marseille at the Stade Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky, right, passes the ball in front of Argentina forward Sole Jaimes (9) during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Alphonso Davies and Shelina Zadorsky have been named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Phelan M. Ebenhack
Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Manchester United's Fred, left, and Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park stadium in London, England, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)
Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) dunks as Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The undermanned Toronto Raptors, down five players and six members of their coaching staff due to health and safety protocols, are scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons in their first action since last Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carlos Osorio
Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Canada's Ghislaine Landry, left, runs past France players during the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, Friday, July 20, 2018. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, grounded last year by the pandemic, will return for the women in May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Chiu
World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

Most Read