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International News

Jun 17, 2019
8:44PM

Iraq looking at options in case Gulf oil route cut, says oil ministry spokesman

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Iraq is looking at contingency plans in case spiralling US-Iran tensions cut off its oil exports through the Gulf. Iraq's oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad disclosed this in Baghdad today as observers warned a rupture would be disastrous. 

Iraq is the second-largest oil producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Mr. Aseem Jihad told media persons that there is no replacement for the southern port and  other alternatives are limited. 

The US has accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers last week in the Gulf of Oman, sparking concerns that global shipments through the key waterway could be threatened. A third of the world's seaborne oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow channel bordered to the north by Iran that links the Gulf with the Gulf of Oman.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to block the passage in the event of a conflict with the US, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed yesterday that Washington would guarantee continued shipments through it. Iraq is currently the fifth-largest oil exporter worldwide, and the government's budget is funded almost exclusively by oil revenues. 

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