Iraq’s oil terminal expansion has been completed but full export capacity has yet to be restored with more maintenance work being undertaken, indicating that creaky infrastructure may yet frustrate Iraq’s plans to raise production capacity significantly in the coming months. Tensions with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over oil payments and rising violence may stymie these efforts even further, as Irbil again rejected Baghdad’s demand to hand over its oil to the federal government. Reports that Angolan Sonangol, already the odd man out in the Iraqi oil sector, may withdraw from two oil field developments due to security concerns, bodes ill for Iraq’s expansion plans.
Iraq has completed a major project to expand its oil export capacity at the Basra oil terminal. Two loading berths (3 and 4), shut down for a month to install metering and manifold systems, were reopened on 14 October, allowing for higher exports, which had slumped in September. However, a daily loadings log at the country’s main oil terminal shows that full export capacity has not been restored. The two operational single point moorings (SPMs) are not operating concurrently while Berth 2 is now out of service. (CONTINUED - 1942 WORDS)