Pipeline attacks reduce Iraqi oil exports

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By Fareed Hassan

Azzaman, May 2, 2014

Attacks targeting Iraqi pipelines have slashed Iraqi oil exports with the country now relying almost solely on its export terminals at the head of the Gulf, according to Oil and Energy Commission at the Iraqi parliament.

Bahaa Jamal, a commission’s member, said the line carrying Iraqi crude to export terminals in Turkey was shut because of repeated attacks.

As for Basra, he added, bad weather conditions, as well as security issues had reduced exports to 2.3 million barrels per day in April.

Iraq relies on oil income for up to 95% of its needs for hard cash. Fluctuations in oil exports and prices boomerangs negatively on the economy.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Husain Shahristani, has said Iraq earns up to $8 billion a month form oil exports.

But Shahristani, who supervises the country’s energy sector, including oil and electricity, admitted that exports via the Turkish pipeline had come to a halt.

The pipeline carried up to 600,000 barrels per day

Shahristani acknowledged that exports were reduced to 2.3 million barrels a day from an average of 2.8 million early in the year.

The Oil Ministry is considering raising the export capacity of the southern terminals at the head of the Gulf in anticipation of a glut in production.

Output from the giant southern fields of Basra and Nasiriya is on the rise and is currently estimated at 3.3 million barrels a day.

With 600,000 barrels coming from the northern fields, Iraq is on its way to hit the target of producing 4 million barrels a day.