New export facility loads first oil

Iraq's new single point mooring filled its first tanker Thursday, kicking off a new phase of record exports and easing bottlenecks in the oil sector.
New export facility loads first oil
Tugboats position a single point mooring (SPM) buoy in the Basra Gulf in January 2012 as Iraq expands its export capacity. (ALI ABU IRAQ/Iraq Oil Report)

The tanker ship Maersk Hirado had been in the Gulf more than a week on Thursday at 3 p.m. when it began loading oil from Iraq's first new export facility to open in decades.A half hour later pumping stopped, recalling the fears of the past months when the SPM launch was delayed due to technical issues and ongoing testing."It is ordinary, because it is commissioning," said one senior Oil Ministry official. "It was closed because of the wrong signal coming from the instrumentation."By ...

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