Last updated: 20 April, 2012

Iraq’s second Gulf oil terminal comes online

Iraq’s second of five floating Gulf oil terminals came online on Friday, adding 900,000 barrels per day to the country’s export capacity, the head of the Southern Oil Company said.

“A ship with a capacity of 2 million barrels of oil has docked at the second floating oil terminal,” and pumping has begun, Dhia al-Mussawi told a news conference in Basra.

The first of the floating terminals began exporting oil in March.

With the new platform, Iraq’s export capacity from the south will be 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd), Mussawi said, adding that “this is an important step; it is a very important day for us in the Southern Oil Company.”

Iraq currently produces about 2.15 million bpd from the south, though that figure is set to rise to 2.75 million bpd by the end of the year, Mussawi said.

Oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad has said that the eventual goal is for Iraq to be able to export five million barrels per day of oil from the south alone, he said.

Oil sales account for the vast majority of Iraqi government income and around two thirds of gross domestic product. The country exported an average of 2.1 million bpd in 2011, according to Oil Minister Abdelkarim al-Luaybi.