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Oil Export Security Is Priority for Iraq, Al Khatteeb Says

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Securing outlets for the export of Iraqi oil should tension with Iran disrupt Middle East supplies is a priority, said Luay Jawad Al Khatteeb, the executive director of the privately-funded Iraq Energy institute.

“It will need strategic planning and immediate action,” Al Khatteeb said, referring to 4 million to 5 million barrels a day of export capacity through Saudi Arabia, Jordan or northern Iraq. “That will require some time. This is not something of a short-term resolution.”

Oil prices at $175 a barrel, “could be very much possible under political and military threats on the Strait of Hormuz,” Al Khatteeb said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Brent crude for May settlement traded at $124.50 a barrel today.

Iraq’s Cabinet approved measures to diversify crude-export routes should Iran block the Strait of Hormuz, a transit point for about two-thirds of Iraqi production, State Minister Ali Al-Dabbagh said this week.

Iraq Energy is an independent research organization based in London, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ramsey Al-Rikabi in Singapore at ralrikabi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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