Iraq spent $30 bil­lion for Im­port­ing Oil Prod­ucts in ten years

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

For­mer Iraqi oil min­is­ter Is­sam Cha­l­abi says that al­though Iraq is an oil-rich coun­try, it still im­ports petroleum prod­ucts from abroad to meet its needs 10 years af­ter the US-led invasion of the coun­try. Cha­l­abi, an in­ter­na­tional en­ergy ex­pert, told Az­za­man that an­nual im­ports of oil de­riv­a­tives reached $6 bil­lion a few years af­ter the oc­cu­pa­tion.

For­mer Iraqi oil min­is­ter Is­sam Cha­l­abi says that al­though Iraq is an oil-rich coun­try, it still im­ports petroleum prod­ucts from abroad to meet its needs 10 years af­ter the US-led invasion of the coun­try.

Cha­l­abi, an in­ter­na­tional en­ergy ex­pert, told Az­za­man that an­nual im­ports of oil de­riv­a­tives reached $6 bil­lion a few years af­ter the oc­cu­pa­tion.

He said the to­tal spent by Iraqi gov­ern­ments on the im­port of oil de­riv­a­tives and gas dur­ing the past 10 years is $30 bil­lion.

Cha­l­abi said that to­tal could have paid for five or six gi­ant re­finer­ies in Iraq. He said no new re­finer­ies have been con­structed or are planned; adding that the gov­ern­ment is still sign­ing con­tracts to im­port oil de­riv­a­tives.

He said this means that Iraq will spend another $30 mil­lion to im­port oil de­riv­a­tives.

The for­mer min­is­ter told Az­za­man that cor­rup­tion in­volved in the im­port of de­riv­a­tives is the rea­son new re­finer­ies are not be­ing built.

Cha­l­abi said that for­mer Iraqi oil min­is­ter and cur­rent Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Hus­sain al-Shahris­tani, when sum­moned to par­lia­ment, told leg­is­la­tors that Iraq has reached self-suf­fi­ciency from de­riv­a­tives, but that this was not true.

Cha­l­abi spoke about oil de­riv­a­tives in the con­text of the UN oil-for-food pro­gram in­sti­tuted in 1995 and for­mally ended in 2010. Cha­l­abi told Az­za­man: “De­spite the fail­ure to ad­here to the in­struc­tions of the oil-for-food pro­gram, which did not al­low the ex­port of de­riv­a­tives, Iraq has since Fe­bru­ary 2003 ex­ported four types of oil de­riv­a­tives, in­clud­ing gaso­line, gas oil, white and kerosene and liq­ue­fied gas through land to Tur­key, Jor­dan and Syria, and by sea via the Ara­bian Gulf.”

He said Iraq be­came an im­porter of petroleum prod­ucts be­gin­ning in June 2003.

Cha­l­abi also said that un­til the end of last year, Iraq's oil out­put did not did not match its pre-invasion pro­duc­tion rates.

Cha­l­abi said Iraq's oil out­put be­fore the invasion and dur­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the oil-for-food pro­gram reached 2.8 mil­lion bar­rels per day, and ex­ports 2.4 mil­lion bar­rels per day, de­spite the block­ade, in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions and the 1991 war. Pro­duc­tion this year reached about 3 mil­lion bar­rels per day, of which 2.5 mil­lion bar­rels are ex­ported.

He said no ma­jor oil pipe­lines have been built, ex­cept for two small ones from Basra to al-Faw. He said no new ex­port ca­pa­bil­i­ties have been pro­vided ex­cept for two fleets at the Basra port in the third quar­ter of 2012.

Cha­l­abi said the Iraqi oil sec­tor is in a state of con­fu­sion in its re­fin­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion sec­tors due to its fail­ure to pro­vide new re­fine­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties or im­prove the qual­ity of de­riv­a­tives.

He said that dif­fer­ences be­tween the Min­istry of Oil and com­pa­nies in south­ern Iraq have sur­faced. This, and its dif­fer­ences with the Kur­dis­tan re­gion, has forced the min­istry to cut de­riv­a­tive pro­duc­tion.

Work­ers ad­just a valve of an oil pipe in the Tawke oil field near Duhok, 400 kilo­me­ters north of Bagh­dad.

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