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WAR: Iraq Oil Shipments Resume After Thwarted Attack

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posted on Apr, 26 2004 @ 10:26 AM
Oil shipments have resumed again after suicide bombers attempted to shut down Iraqi oil exports by detonating explosives on three boats. Official say that there was no damage to infrastructure through which Iraq ships over 85% of its oil. If the explosives had reached the terminal or one of the tankers that were loading oil, the results could have been catastrophic. As the suspicious boat approached, an 8-man interception team approached the boat, and the terrorist detonated the explosives killing two coalition members. Twenty minutes later, two other small boats blew up nearby.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq has resumed oil exports from the Basra terminal just a day after suicide attacks forced operations to halt, Oil Minister Mohammad Bahr al-Uloum said on Monday. Suicide bombers in three boats blew themselves up on Saturday in and around the Basra terminal zone, one of the most heavily guarded facilities of its kind in the world.
"Iraqi teams restored operations at 1700 GMT on Sunday. The damage was limited and exports are flowing back at the same rates," Uloum said. Living quarters, several electrical generators and minor installations were damaged.

Bottlenecks like the Basra port in Iraq remain the most vulnerable and strategic points in the entire oil industry. If one of these major ports were to be attacked successfully, it would be months until normal operations could continue. Half of Saudi Arabia's oil reserves are contained in just 8 fields, and the oil from these fields are processed in just a few central hubs. An attack on one of these could take out half of Saudi Arabia's oil production for up to 6 months. This would send oil prices through the roof. Oil prices rose slightly after this attack even though none of the infrastructure was damaged.

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