Iraqi oil tanker sets sail for the US, first in decades

An oil tanker carrying around 2mn barrels of crude oil has left Basra and is en route to the US in landmark sailing.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

An oil tanker carrying an Iraqi flag and bearing 2mn barrels of crude oil is now on its way to the US, according to the country’s oil ministry and cited by AFP. The shipping marks the first such voyage in almost 30 years.

Earlier this year Oil Minister Jabar Al Luaibi stated that Iraq is producing around 4.3mn barrels per day. The country is also targeting an increase in output from multiple fields. It recently attempted to sell 11 new blocks however five subsequently went unsold.

The nation has been affected by wars and political unrest over many years and oil output has been subsequently impacted. Nevertheless, it is the second biggest producer in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told the AFP, “The Baghdad left Basra on Friday night headed for the United States. It is the first time since 1991 that Iraq is running its own oil tankers.”

Iraq has presently hired four tankers and is planning to lease three more at a later date. The exact destination for the oil tanker has not been specified.


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