Iraq has opened the first of its four planned offshore tanker loading facilities in the Persian Gulf.
The oil producer said that this move will help maximise its export potential and also said that it intended to add 200,000 barrels per day to its capacity for loading tankers by next month.
The new single-point mooring unit, located off the southern oil terminal of Fao, has a potential export capacity of 850,000 barrels a day, Falah al-Amri, chairman of the State Oil Marketing Organisation, told Bloomberg.
“We are ready to market these new capacities, particularly in promising markets in Asia where our crude exports to China currently average 500,000 barrels a day,” he said during a ceremony to mark the facility’s inauguration.
The four units would increase the country’s export capacity by sea to a combined 3.4 mill barrels per day by 2013. Iraq also exports crude overland by pipeline through neighbouring Turkey.
The country also plans to open export routes for crude through neighbouring Syria, following threats by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz in response to international sanctions on Iran’s energy industry, reported Bloomberg.
Iraq holds the world’s fifth-largest crude deposits including Canadian oil sands, according to data from BP.