Iraq to upgrade creaky oil facilities

Repairs to export infrastructure should enable country to double exports by the end of the year.

    Iraq has launched a massive programme to repair its export infrastructure to meet its oil demands.

    Despite having some of the world's biggest oil reserves, the country is exporting less than it did before the war. And although foreign oil companies are streaming into the country, the government recently had to cut back its estimates for production.

    The first phase of the planned upgrade - including that to the dangerously rusted pipeline, the lifeline of the country's economy - is set to more than double exports by the end of the year.

    Jeff Ledet, an oil worker for Leighton Offshore said: "With the integrity of the pipeline laid in 1977 compared to the technology now -  the thickness of the pipe, the concrete coating of the pipe - this will outlast [the old pipe] three to one."

    Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reports from Iraqi waters in the Gulf.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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