Thursday, May 6, 2010

Iraq lobbies for oil port expansions

BASRA, Iraq, May 5 (UPI) -- International contractors offered proposals to the state-owned South Oil Col. in Iraq to build an export project at the port of Basra, a spokesman said.

The South Oil Co. is moving to boost export capacity through an offshore reconstruction project at the southern port in Basra. Upgrades include a 6-mile onshore and a 38-mile offshore pipeline to expand export capacity, the online Oil & Gas Journal reports.

A spokesman for the state-owned oil company said the project is part of a plan to increase export capacity from Basra ports from 1.8 million barrels per day to 4 million barrels per day during the next four years. Companies were invited to submit their interest Wednesday.

Low volumes of crude in storage were blamed for a 550,000-barrel-per-day decline in exports from Basra terminals in April.

Overall Iraqi crude exports in April were 1.7 million barrels per day, down from 1.84 million barrels per day in March. The decline was attributed to sabotage and inclement weather.

Iraq emerged from December oil auctions with the confidence to say it could rival Saudi Arabia in terms of oil production.

The Basra port expansion will be funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

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