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Iraq’s oil hub Basra is engulfed in a maelstrom of protests which have resulted in multiple civilian deaths. Yet despite the carnage, oil and gas operations continue largely uninterrupted. All of federal Iraq’s oil exports currently flow from Basra’s offshore terminals, and volumes hit an all-time high of 3.58mn b/d in August.
This dichotomy sums up the situation in Basra. Just as the oil and gas infrastructure is largely shielded from the protests, so are the proceeds largely kept away from the locals. Protestors decry that oil revenue – which supplied almost 85% of total government revenue last year – is siphoned off to Baghdad and is rarely re-invested back into Basra.
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