July sees rise in Iraqi oil exports

Iraq's oil exports rose to an average of 1.6 million barrels a day during July, and tenders have been issued to build new refineries to help cope with fuel shortages hitting the country, the oil minister says.

    The old al-Doura refinary south of Baghdad

    Speaking on Monday, Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum said Iraq's crude exports had been 1.44 billion barrels a day for June. He said Iraq earned about $2.5 billion from oil sales abroad last month.

    But the minister said the country, which lacks sufficient refining capabilities, is spending $300 million to import refined oil products to face fuel shortages.

    "During July, Iraq imported 13 million litres (3.43 million gallons) of gasoline daily to meet the increasing demand and the oil ministry is planning to increase the local gasoline production to 13 million litres (3.43 million gallons) a day" by the end of August, Bahr al-Uloum said.

    Queues

    Lines at petrol stations in Baghdad sometimes stretch for kilometres, forcing drivers to wait for hours before reaching the pumps.

    The fuel crisis was caused by hundreds of thousands of cars that flooded into the country, when Iraq's governmental system went idle after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The ongoing smuggling of cheaper fuel to neighbouring countries compounds the problem.

    "During July, Iraq imported 13 million litres (3.43 million gallons) of gasoline daily to meet the increasing demand". 

    Muhammad Bahr al-Uloum,
    Iraq Oil Minister

    Also, many Iraqis use petrol to run generators during the country's frequent electricity outages, especially in the scorching summer.

    "Last month, the consumption of gasoline has increased in Baghdad with average of two million litres because of the electricity cut-offs," the minister said.

    Tender

    The Oil Ministry has issued a tender to build a new $1 billion refinery south of Baghdad with a capacity of 140,000 barrel a day, he said.


    A second $400 million tender was issued to build a refinery near Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdish area of northern Iraq with a capacity of 70,000 barrels a day, he added.

    Bahr al-Uloum expected that his country's oil production would rise to 3.5 million barrels a day over the next two years.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Aina Gamzatova: The Muslim woman challenging Putin

    The Muslim woman who wants to run against Putin

    A 46-year old with no chance of winning the presidency has announced her bid, and she wants to get tough on fighters.