The first of four new Iraqi single-point mooring facilities will start pumping oil for tankers in the Persian Gulf on Jan. 27, the Oil Ministry said in an e-mailed statement today.
The offshore facility was due to start operating on Jan. 25; the ministry decided to delay the inauguration ceremony in Basra for a further two days, it said.
The government plans to install three more offshore loading facilities in the Persian Gulf by 2013, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said Jan. 18. Each of them will add 850,000 barrels a day of capacity, he said.
Iraq, which holds the world’s fifth-largest crude deposits, according BP Plc data, wants to raise production and exports to promote economic growth. It has granted 15 oil and gas licenses since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 and plans a new round on April 11-12.