- Title: IRAQ: IRAQ HALTS OIL EXPORTS FROM MAIN SOUTHERN PIPELINE.
- Date: 14th August 2004
- Summary: (U3) BASRA, IRAQ (FILE) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. VARIOUS: EXTERIORS OF BASRA OIL TERMINAL (5 SHOTS) 1.07 2. MV: INTERIORS OF CONTROL ROOM AT BASRA OIL TERMINAL (2 SHOTS) 1.15 3. GV/CU: EXTERIORS OF OIL TERMINAL (5 SHOTS) 1.58 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 29th August 2004 13:00
- Location: BASRA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVAB9LZQ1Z6CVDGM7QITU19QRXMV
- Story Text: Iraq halts oil exports from main southern pipeline.
Authorities have halted oil export flows from the
main pipeline in southern Iraq after intelligence showed a
rebel militia could strike infrastructure, an oil official
said on Saturday (August 14).
The shutdown kept loadings at southern oil terminals at
half their normal level, undermining the government's
effort to raise revenue as oil prices hit record highs,
partly in response to the instability in Iraq.
"The situation in Basra is bad. Management ordered the
pipeline shut late yesterday," said the South Oil Company
official, who declined to be named.
"Very few people showed up to work again today. The
feeling is it is not wise to challenge Sadr's followers."
He was referring to the uprising led by anti
U.S.-cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose Mehdi Army militia is
fighting U.S-led forces in central and southern Iraq.
The Mehdi Army has vowed to attack oil facilities in
response to a U.S. offensive on the Muslim Shi'ite city of
The instability and damage to the main export pipeline
in the south from sabotage has disrupted Iraq's oil exports
through the past five days.
Only the tanker Antonius was loading on Saturday at
864,000 barrels per day (bpd) from platform number two at
the Basra terminal, formerly known as Mina al-Bakr.
Flows to offshore terminals, which account for all of
Iraq's exports, were running through another smaller
pipeline at a rate of one million barrels per day. The
larger pipeline has a capacity of 1.5 million bpd.
News that Iraq have stopped oil exports from the key
southern pipeline came as Iran said that global markets
were oversupplied by 2.8 million bpd of crude and that
there was no reason for OPEC to raise production to cool
down sizzling oil prices.
U.S. benchmark crude prices soared to yet another
record of $46.65 a barrel on Friday following news of a
blast at the Whiting, Indiana refinery, and on fears about
possible unrest in OPEC producer Venezuela during this
weekend's referendum on the rule of President Hugo Chavez.
With the latest bullish news from the Middle East, oil
analysts now expect prices to soon strike $47 a barrel and
head for $50.
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