IRAQ’S OIL PRODUCTION FALLS SHORT OF GOALS

from the May 7, 2007 edition, Peter Grier, Christian Science Monitor

Despite years of rebuilding, petroleum production continues to fall short of targets, due to insurgency vandalism, poor field management, and corruption.

WASHINGTON – Here’s a bit of good news about Iraq and oil: The Al Basrah Oil Terminal finally can work at full speed. This giant H-shaped tanker loading platform, located in the Persian Gulf off Iraq’s southeastern coast, is one of the country’s most important pieces of economic infrastructure. Thanks to US-funded reconstruction, all four of its berths now are in operation for the first time in many years.

Now the bad news: There’s not much else good about Iraqi oil to report. Despite years of rebuilding, petroleum production continues to fall short of targets, due to insurgency vandalism, poor field management, and corruption. Proposed Iraqi legislation on oil revenue distribution – a measure deemed crucial by the White House – remains the subject of bitter sectarian debate.

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