Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Iraq to buy oil tankers

(Azzaman) - Iraq is planning to buy small oil tankers with specifications that will enable them to navigate easily through terminals on the Gulf and the Shat al-Arab Waterway. Abdulkarim al-Saadi, director-general of Iraqi Tanker Company, said the company will soon invite foreign firms to take part in tenders to build the tankers.
Saadi did not say how many tankers Iraq intends to buy but made clear the need was urgent for small-capacity ships in order to meet the country’s growing needs for oil products. Iraq currently imports more than half of its fuel needs estimated at 700,000 barrels a day as its refineries are working much below their capacity due to violence and attacks on pipelines.
The company had one of the largest crude oil transport fleets in the Middle East with 22 tankers. But these were either sunk at terminals or got rusted as the company could use or repair them due to U.N. trade sanctions.

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