BAGHDAD, May 5 (Reuters) - President Saddam Hussein called for domestic manufacture of key oil-production equipment to improve crude output by the dilapidated industry, the state news agency INA said on Saturday, May 5.
INA said Saddam met Oil Minister Amir Muhammed Rasheed and senior ministry aides to discuss “methods to improve the oil sector. The meeting (addressed) means to increase production ... and the possibility of manufacturing oil equipment in cooperation with the private sector.”
Iraqi oil installations were heavily bombed during the U.S.- led Gulf War that ousted Iraqi troops from Kuwait in 1991. Baghdad, under stringent U.N. trade sanctions imposed for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, is allowed to sell oil over six-month renewable periods in order to buy food and medicine for the impoverished Iraqi population.
Rasheed was quoted as saying on Friday that a lack of spare parts for the oil industry had thwarted plans to increase crude oil output to 3.5 million barrels a day (bpd). He said that Iraq would maintain an output of 3 million bpd for the time being. Rasheed also said Iraq had received only 35 percent of oil equipment and spare parts bought under its oil-for-food deal with the United Nations.
Under that program, Baghdad is allowed to spend $1.2 billion of its oil revenues on oil spare parts annually.
© Reuters 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)