KHOR AL-ZUBAIR, BASRA - The port of Khor al-Zubair, built in the 1970s as an industrial and commercial port, has been repurposed to handle exclusively imports and exports of oil products — and might soon be able to handle crude oil, too.
The director of the port, Capt. Haidar Fakher Nasser, spoke with Iraq Oil Report about Khor al-Zubair's current capacity and ongoing expansion, including the addition of more loading berths and the dredging of channels to facilitate larger ships.
If Khor al-Zubair can indeed handle some crude exports in the future, it might allow Iraq to boost oil production, which is currently capped by infrastructure constraints at Iraq's other export outlets in the Basra Gulf. A recent leak from a pipeline at the Al-Basra Oil Terminal temporarily forced the suspension of oil exports there and highlighted the need for alternative export routes.
Nasser said the 10 loading berths at Khor al-Zubair are currently operating at full capacity of between 1.5 and 2 million tons per year, and another three berths are expected to come online soon.
A full transcript of the interview is available below to subscribers.