Keeping up with Iraq | 342 (July-August 2018)

Social unrest didn’t disrupt output from the major oil fields

2018-07-31 15:38 Views 348

REUTERS - In July unrest across southern Iraqi cities gathered pace. Protesters have blocked the access to major oilfields, attacked government buildings, branches of political parties and stormed the international airport in the holy city of Najaf.

However, troubles have not disrupted crude shipments from the region. According to senior oil officials, Iraq exported an average of 3.566 million barrels per day from its southern oilfields in July.

Crude exports account for 95 percent of state revenue and any disruptions could badly damage its economy at a time when Iraq needs tens of billions of dollars to rebuild after the three-year war with Islamic State.

The unrest is piling pressure on Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who hopes to serve a second term once politicians form a new government following a May 12 parliamentary election.

In a meeting with government officials carried on state television, Abadi promised to allocate funds for water and electricity in Basra, once dubbed the “Venice of the Middle East” for its network of canals.

“We will not allow anyone to tamper with security and order by encroaching on public, private and government institutions and also economic institutions,” military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Rasool told a news conference.

***

LUKOIL operations were not affected by recent unrest in Southern Iraq.

During crisis LMEL top managers and security team have been closely working with Iraqi military and police forces to ensure safety of the Company’s personnel and production facilities.

Company got support from Iraqi officials, who recognized its key role in the country’s economic development. Even more important, it got full support from its Iraqi employees, who continued performing their duties in spite of challenging environment.

Lukoil #342 (July-August 2018)

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