By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 4 -- Firefighters resumed efforts Friday to put out the two remaining fires in Rumaila oil field in southern Iraq, reported the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. "After firefighters ran out of trucked water earlier in the week, manmade lagoons were created to store water near the affected wellheads, and were filled on Thursday," EIA said.
Coalition military officials speculated last week that it could take "as long as 3 months" for Iraq's southern oil fields to start exporting crude again due to concerns over the possible sabotage of pumping stations and pipelines (OGJ Online, Mar. 28, 2003).
Meanwhile, at the Turkish port of Ceyhanthe outlet for oil from northern Iraqi fields8.3 million bbl of Iraqi oil worth nearly $200 million are in storage waiting to be sold, EIA said. "UN diplomats and officials say employees of the Iraq oil company stationed in Turkey have been unable to contact their counterparts in Baghdad to gain the paperwork needed for the approval," the agency reported. With the storage tanks almost full, current flow through the pipeline would be insignificant to none.
Other gulf production
Kuwait reportedly still is producing above its maximum sustainable capacity as a result of a decision to "surge" its oil production temporarily, EIA reported. Skyrocketing insurance costs and security challenges associated with tankering the oil through the Persian Gulf remain an issue, however (OGJ Online, Apr. 3, 2003).
Shell reportedly restarted production Mar. 31 at Iran's 60,000 b/d Soroosh field in the northern gulf, 90 km west of Kharg Island, Iran. It had been shut down for safety reasons at the start of the war (OGJ Online, Mar. 24, 2003).
National Iranian Oil Co. has been providing security for the sites during the shutdown. Soroosh oil production is slated to reach peak capacity of 190,000 b/d by September.