A leading Iraqi energy adviser says the country may need to invest in as many as 120 crude oil tanks, each with a capacity of half a million barrels.
Speaking at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum 2012 conference in London, Dr Mussab al Dujayli, a former Director General of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), said that a planned export level of 10 million barrels per day (bpd) by sea would require 60 million barrels of storage capacity on Iraq's gulf coast.
This would provide 6 days worth of storage, which would be needed to cover typical shipping delays due to rough weather in the area.
Currently oil is piped directly from the oil fields to the shipping terminals, as the 24 half-million-barrel tanks at Faw were destroyed during the fighting some years ago, but this is not a sustainable solution.
Speaking to Padraig O'Hannelly for Iraq Business News, Dr Dujayli dismissed the possibility of Iran attempting to close the Straits of Hormuz, as the straits are sufficiently wide and deep to make it technically very difficult, and Iran has no desire to block its own route to world markets.
Describing the pipeline to Ceyhan in Turkey as a reliable secondary outlet, he also dismissed the idea of a pipeline to Aqaba in Jordan as "unthinkable", as it is too far away, would require a new terminal in Aqaba, and would lead to Iraq depending on the Suez Canal.