• Erosion of main pipeline stops Iraq’s oil exports through Turkey

    September 29, 2011

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Iraq, Other Ideas

    The Neocon script for Iraq was clear that the flood of crude oil out of a free Iraq would pay for the war, both in actual costs and as a reward for having the courage to invade. Yeah, I know, that did not work out.

    I wrote previously about twelve reasons why Iraq will not be a major oil exporter anytime soon. Let’s have another look at reason no. 7:

    Oil Guy said the pipeline to Syria was built “back in the day” and looks like Swiss Cheese, full of holes (and a Scooby snack for the allusion!) The pipeline into Turkey is a bit better but can only handle about twenty percent of the oil, and has not had a full pressure test since 1991. That means eighty percent has to be piped down to the one deep water port Iraq has and shipped out through the Gulf by tanker. Somebody (such as Oil Guy) needs to first build all the piping and terminals and shipping stuff which are not there right now. Of course, that builder needs to be careful, because most of the countries in the neighborhood get their fresh water via desalinization plants that draw from the Gulf. An oil spill in an Iraqi port hastily thrown together would create an ecological and political disaster across the entire region that would make the BP Louisiana Gulf fiasco seem like just more spilled milk no one should cry over…

    Unfortunately, today’s news confirms the sad state of Iraq’s oil infrastructure:

    Iraq’s oil exports through the main oil pipeline, carrying Iraqi crude through Turkey, have stopped entirely, due to leakage, caused by erosion of the of the main line close to Salahal-Din Province, a source at Iraq’s North Oil Company in Kirkuk reported on Thursday. “Oil exports stopped from Kirkuk since Wednesday morning, across the Iraq-Turkey oil pipeline, because of a case of leakage of crude oil from the main line,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency.

    This is not the only recent incident.

    An explosion at Iraq’s biggest oil field earlier in September sparked a massive fire that partially halted crude production. The blast, which left at least 15 people injured, occurred at a gas compressor at the Rumaila oil field, which runs along Iraq’s border with Kuwait. A maintenance team was changing equipment on the compressor when the explosion happened, causing the fire.

    Still wondering why Iraq’s oil output in 2011 is roughly the same as it was in 2003? Best read the entire article.

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