Iraq plans to start shipping crude from the first of its three new offshore export terminals in the Gulf at the start of February, according to Reuters.
The new single-point mooring (SPM), which will boost export capacity by 900,000 barrels per day, was due to start operation on 1st January, but testing of new pipelines has not been completed.
Consultation between the oil ministry, the South Oil Company and project manager Foster Wheeler last week produced the new schedule, officials said.
The other two moorings will be installed by the end of the year.
Iraq’s $1.3 billion export expansion project in the Gulf includes the construction of two undersea pipelines and one onshore pipeline, as well as four single-point moorings for loading tankers.
Bringing the first three SPMs on line would boost Iraq’s export capacity in the Gulf by 2.7 million bpd, more than doubling Basra’s current capacity. Its two current Gulf terminals can handle around 1.7 million bpd.
Iraq also has plans in place to build a third Gulf pipeline and a fourth SPM, while a fifth SPM is on its wish list.