Iraq Denies Tech Fault in New Oil Terminal, Blames Weather

Iraq said on Thursday that weather, rather than a technical fault, was behind an interruption in the operation of the new single point mooring (SPM) terminal on the Persian Gulf.

The new facility loaded 2 million barrels of oil into its first ship, the Maersk Hirado, between 8th March and 13th March, but has not worked since.

Sources at the state-owned South Oil Company had blamed technical faults for the interruption, but Oil Minister Abdul Kareem Luaibi [Elaibi] said that weather was to blame after storms hit the Gulf. "As we speak, a second vessel is on its way to the SPM, with a capacity of 2 million barrels," Luaibi said.

Asim Jihad, an oil ministry spokesman, said, “it is hopeful that today or tomorrow an oil tanker will anchor to be supplied with oil".

(Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg)

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