Iraq to Raise Oil Exports to Compensate for Sabotage

Iraq’s Oil Ministry has completed repairs to the damaged oil pipeline carrying crude from north Iraq’s Kirkuk fields through Turkey, and pumping resumed after mid-night on Tuesday morning, the Oil Ministry’s official spokesman has confirmed.

“The Oil Ministry has completed repairs in the damaged Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline, exporting crude oil to the Turkish Ceyhan terminal on the Mediterranean, that was damaged [by a bomb attack] in northern Iraq’s al-Hadhar area, which hampered oil exports,” Assem Jihad told Aswat al-Iraq news agency on Tuesday.

Jihad said the repairs have covered the replacement of part of the pipeline that was seriously damaged in the blast, as well as closing leaks on some parts of the pipeline.

“Operations to fill in the pipeline began at 12.30 a.m. local time on Tuesday, whilst full pumping resumed with a capacity of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), in order to cover the shortage caused by the halt of pumping over the past few days, in order to fill the storage tanks in the Turkish Ceyhan Terminal and prepare them for exporting oil through the Mediterranean terminals."

Emad al-Baqer, North Oil Company's head of production, told Bloomberg that Iraq will start exporting as much as 600,000 barrels of crude to Turkey’s Mediterranean port "to compensate for the shortage in Ceyhan due to the forced stoppage".

(Sources: Aswat al-Iraq, Bloomberg, BusinessWeek)

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