Fresh attacks on oil pipelines in southern Iraq could cost country up to $1 billion
Iraqi fighters stepped up their attacks against the country's oil infrastructure, blasting two pipelines and cutting oil exports.
Following these attacks, Iraqi authorities cut exports through the Persian Gulf by half - from an average of 1.85 million barrels per day to some 800,000 barrels.
Petroleum expert Paul Horsnell, the head of energy research at Barclays Capital in London, said that as a result of the attacks, Iraq would likely fail to meet its export target of 2 million barrels a day for June.
"There are no exports from Basra oil terminal or Khor al-Amaya and it is unclear when they will restart," an Iraq oil official has told Reuters. "Both pipelines feeding the terminals have been destroyed."
Iraqi officials were quoted as saying they expected to have the damage repaired within a few days. Together, the two southern pipelines can carry some 80,000 barrels of oil an hour for export to ports on the Persian Gulf, said Walid Khadduri, an authority on the Iraqi oil industry. According to The New York Times, Khadduri said the pipelines could take some 10 days to fix and cost the country $450 million to $1 billion during that time.
Last week, Iyad Allawi, Iraq's interim prime minister, said attacks on oil pipelines alone had cost the country $200 million. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)