The Iraqi Ministry of Oil confirmed its intention to increase the export capacity to 6 million barrels per day after 2023 through the implementation of projects to develop oil tanks in the FAO area, including the construction of 24 huge storage tanks.
Dr. Karim Hattab, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Oil for Distribution Affairs, said during his visit to the oil depots in FAO, that the Ministry is keen to accelerate the completion and implementation of projects to develop oil depots in Al-FAO in Basra Governorate and to increase its capacity from 3.5 million barrels per day to 6 million barrels per day, with the aim of enhancing and sustaining oil exports from southern fields and ports.
He added that the visit comes in implementation of the directives of His Excellency the Minister of Oil / Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar, to follow up on mega projects that include the construction of many huge tanks in the FAO area.
Dr. Hattab referred to the importance of implementing the marine pipeline project from the FAO oil tanks to the oil export ports, in support of the ministry’s plans to increase the capacities of the export terminals.
Due to the circumstances surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting decline in oil demand and prices, Iraq is currently facing many difficulties in financing public expenditures and domestic and foreign payments, including wages and pensions. Nokir Mirzoyev, head of the International Monetary Fund mission in charge of Iraq, praised the efforts of the Iraqi Council of Ministers and its approval of the draft general budget for the fiscal year 2021, which includes the implementation of important financial reforms.
Despite the difficulty of implementing these reforms, in addition to the recently announced exchange rate reduction, they constitute critical steps to help reduce major imbalances in the general budget and the external balance of payments to ensure stability for the Iraqi economy.
The IMF mission statement stated that while the Iraqi authorities are working to alleviate direct financial tensions, especially on the poor classes, the plan they have drawn up for the short term should be followed by subsequent steps that include deeper structural reforms in order to strengthen the economy, and expand reconstruction and important social spending, laying the foundation for higher employment and more inclusive growth in the medium term.