Crude shipments from Iraq could be resumed within as little as three weeks, industry analysts assert. As coalition military troops advance, securing control over Iraq’s southern oilfields and Umm Qasr export terminal, Iraq could technically begin pumping Rumeila South field, at about 400,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), before April-end.
Despite American apocalyptic forecasts of Iraqi sabotage, most of the country’s vital oil installations were found intact and operable. In the Rumeila South oil field, the last of five fires could be extinguished within 10 days, the US-based Boots & Coots Well Control firm hired for the job estimates.
A major obstacle may well prove to be the facilities’ ramshackle state after 12 years of UN sanctions regime. It is estimated that as much as one billion dollars and three months’ time would be required to complete repair works on Iraq's run-down giant Rumaila oilfield, in order to bring it to full capacity of about 1.8 million bopd.
However, it seems that the most difficult problem to overcome would rather be political, as international consensus is far from emerging as to who should manage the funds generated from such renewed sales, which are intended by the allies to finance Iraq's postwar reconstruction. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )