Major oil export development highlights security questions

Iraq awards Foster Wheeler contract to oversee massive southern oil export expansion, as top U.S. military official says foreign forces may be needed to protect oil exports after 2011.
An oil tanker fills up at Iraq's al-Basra Oil Terminal. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - The commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq said Tuesday that Iraq's Navy and other forces are making headway to protect the country’s primary oil terminals in the northern Arabian Gulf, but it's not yet clear whether foreign forces will be needed after the U.S. withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Hours after U.S. Army Gen. Ray Odierno briefed reporters in Baghdad, Swiss-based Foster Wheeler announced it was named project manager and consultant for the Iraqi Crude Oil Export Expansion Project, a four-year effort that will increase oil export capacity from about 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) now to 4.5 million bpd by 2014.

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