Iraq's Oil Sector One Year After Liberation
Terror's Big Prize
The coordinated suicide attack on oil terminals off the coast of the southern Iraqi city of Basra is another sign that terrorists have singled out oil as their biggest prize.
A crude threat
An average of one to two sabotage attacks a week against Iraq's oil pipelines has crippled the country's oil industry, hindering its ability to export crude.
Minding Its Business
Saudi Arabia, which has demonstrated its willingness to use its vast oil reserves as a foreign policy tool, has not acted to aid U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq.
Fencing in looters and saboteurs in Iraq
Too many people in and outside of Iraq are hoping to deny Iraq a better future through a campaign of sabotage and plunder of the country's neglected oil facilities. The problem, and possible solutions.
Prospects on Russia’s Stance towards OPEC
In September Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Prince Abdullah made the first visit to Russia by a Saudi head of state in over seven decades. The future of Moscow’s stance towards OPEC is a critical question for the world oil market. Will Russia be willing to cooperate with OPEC and thus further strengthen the power of the cartel to set a price range for oil?
Energy security and liquefied natural gas
Demand for natural gas has increased as have the security vulnerabilities presented by liquefied natural gas terminals and tankers.
Under the Radar
Oil, terrorism and drugs intermingle in Colombia
Seventy U.S. Special Forces soldiers are training Colombians to protect an oil pipeline.
Japan's struggle to secure future oil supply
Energy dependent Japan looks to Iran for oil, causing tension with the U.S.
Chad-Cameroon pipeline project put to test
Will the pipeline, partially financed by the World Bank, improve the lot of Chad and Cameroon
or exacerbate existing corruption and strife?
Natural resource curse hits São Tomé
A tiny West African country illustrates a well known problem.
On the technology front
Fuel Cell Locomotive for Military and Commercial Railways
An international consortium is developing the world’s largest fuel cell vehicle, a 109 metric-ton, 1 MW locomotive.
Fuel cell power plant installed at NJ Sheraton
A stationary fuel cell will supply 250 kilowatts of electric power as well as heat to the Sheraton Edison
Hotel, accounting for about 25 percent of the hotel's electricity and hot water.
Fuel cell scooters for Europe and China
Palcan's fuel cell powered scooter is designed to address the world's need for a low-end mass transport vehicle.
U.S. Air Force
to get fuel cell bus
Fuel cell powered thirty-foot hybrid bus to be stationed at the Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii.
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Iraq Pipeline Watch
Attacks on Iraqi pipelines, oil installations, and oil personnel:
1. June 12 — attack along the 600 mile (960km) pipeline that carries crude oil from Iraq's northern fields near Kirkuk to Turkey's port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean Sea
2. June 19 — explosion in Bayji refinery complex about 125 miles (200km) north of Baghdad
3. June 22 — explosion in natural gas line near Hit, a city about 95 miles (152 km) northwest of Baghdad
4. June 23 - gas pipeline explosion outside the town of Abidiyah Gaarbiga, near the Syrian border in western Iraq
5. June 24 — explosion near Barwanah pipeline carries crude to al-Dawrah refinery in Baghdad
6. June 26 — explosion near Al-Fatha near the River Tigris
7. July 29 — attack on pipeline near Basra
8. July 31 - saboteurs blew up part of a pipeline near Bayji
9. August 1 - two rocket propelled grenades fired at exposed and leaking valve in an oil
pipeline running west of Karbala sparked a blaze.
10. August 12 — attack near al-Taji near Baghdad
11. August 15 - explosion near Bayji
12. August 16 - explosion near Bayji
13. September 8 — attack on pipeline from the Jabour oil field 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Kirkuk to the main pipeline that originates there
14. September 18 - attack on pipeline from Kirkuk to Ceyhan
15. October 11 - attack on pipeline from Zab to Kirkuk
16. October 16 - pipeline explosion near the city of Hadeetha, 125 miles (200 km) northwest of Baghdad
17. October 23 - explosion near natural gas pipeline 30 miles (48 km) south of Mosul
18. October 23 - bombing attack on an oil pipeline 150 miles (240 km) north of Baghdad
19. November 1 - explosion at oil pipeline about 9 miles (15 km) north of Tikrit
20. November 4 - explosion at a pipeline plant in Zumar, 38 miles (60 km) northwest of Mosul
21. November 10 - Mohammed al-Zibari, distribution manager for the
Oil Distribution Company was shot and wounded in the northern city of
Mosul in what seems to be the first assassination attempt on
officials from an Iraqi oil firm. Zibari's son was killed in the attack.
Zibari told Reuters, "Three people opened fire with AK-47s. My driver
saw them and so did my bodyguard," adding "Definitely foreign regime
loyalists are responsible for this. I have no personal enemies, no
tribal or family problems, and I'm not a member of any political
22. November 17 - blast 1.2 miles (2 km) east of the Bayji refinery, at a pipeline taking fuel oil to the Daura refinery, in the southern suburb of Baghdad. Resulting damage on the power supply line to the 300,000 barrels per day Bayji refinery, located 156 miles (250 km) north of Baghdad,
forced a 2 day electricity shutdown.
23. November 18 - explosion on oil pipeline in the region of Mashruh al-Therthar, south-west of the city of Samarra. The feeds the Daura refineries in Baghdad.
24. November 22 - Abdel Salam Qanbar, an Iraqi police colonel in
charge of security for oil installations in the northern city of
Mosul was shot and killed by unknown attackers in a vehicle.
25. November 22 - club inside the Iraqi Northern Oil Company
compound in Kirkuk, 150 miles (240 km) north of Baghdad, was hit
during the night by mortar shells wounding three foreign nationals.
26. November 23 - blast on a pipeline transporting gas from the Jambur oil field to the Bayji refinery caused fire so huge its glow at night is visible from Kirkuk, 19 miles (30 km) north of Jambur.
27. November 26 - oil pipeline linking oilfields in northern Iraq to the Bayji refinery on fire near the village of Sharqat, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Bayji.
28. December 9 - explosion on a gas pipeline that runs from Kirkuk to a bottled gas factory north of Baghdad.
29. December 10 - explosion at point 84 miles (135 km) west of Kirkuk on oil pipeline linking the Bayji and Daura refineries.
30. December 19 - blaze on a pipeline south of Baghdad causing significant leakage.
31. December 20 - rocket-propelled grenades hit storage tanks in southern Baghdad on Saturday; resulting fires burned about 2.6 million gallons of gasoline.
32. December 20 - rocket-propelled grenades cause pipeline explosion in the al-Mashahda area 15 miles (24 km) north of Baghdad.
33. December 21 - explosion on pipeline in the al-Mashahda region, 30 miles (50 km) north Baghdad.
34. December 21 - pumping station near Bayji refinery attacked with mortars.
35. December 22 - explosion at 3:30 pm (1230 GMT) in Riad about 28 miles (45 km) west of Kirkuk,
on fuel pipeline between Kirkuk's oilfields and Iraq's biggest refinery in Bayji, parallel to the crucial pipeline between Kirkuk and the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
36. December 22 - fire on pipeline supplying Bayji refinery with crude from the oil fields of Kirkuk at point about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of refinery.
37. January 7 - explosion holes pipeline connecting oil fields to a pumping station in the area around Hassiba, 85 miles (135 km) west of Kirkuk, Northern Oil Company director general Adel Kazzaz said "The fuel line was used for domestic market needs and filling up tankers that export crude."
38. January 30 - explosion on pipeline carrying crude oil from Kirkuk to Bayji refinery.
39. February 22 - explosion and fire on the Kirkuk-Baghdad-Basra pipeline near Al-Hare, a small town west of Karbala, about 70 miles (110 km) south of Baghdad.
This is reported to be the first attack against a pipeline in southern Iraq since the ousting of Saddam Hussein.
40. February 26 - explosion apparently caused by homemade bomb thrown under
oil and gas pipes damaged part of an oil pipeline about 60 miles (96 km) north of Baghdad.
41. March 2 - large explosion on oil pipeline near the northern city of Kirkuk causing a huge fire but no casualties. The blast hit the main oil line leading to the Bayji refinery 125 miles (200 km) north of Baghdad igniting a huge fire police chief Turhan Yussef said.
"The explosion happened at 11.15am (0615 AEDT). An explosive device was placed under the pipeline at Al-Riad, 21 miles (35 km) west of Kirkuk," he said.
42. March 10 - fire on an oil pipeline south of Baghdad, leading from southern fields to the Daura refinery outside Baghdad. Firefighter Saleh Jabbar said it appeared to be the result of sabotage.
43. March 12 - oil pipeline blown up west of Tikrit on Friday, resulting in a fire on the line. The pipeline links northern oil fields in Kirkuk with the Daura refinery on the edge of Baghdad.
44. March 24 - Northern Oil Company oil well in the Khabaz area, about 55 miles (88 km) west of Kirkuk, was bombed at night. The resulting fire was extinguished late the following day. Gen. Mohammed Amin, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps chief in Kirkuk said the well was not being tapped at the time of the blast nor was it closely guarded. "This is a terrorist act. This is the first time an oil well has come under attack in Kirkuk." Amin said.
45. March 25 - blast on a main oil well in northern Iraq that feeds exports through Turkey. Adel Qazzaz,
director-general of the Northern Iraqi Company (NOC) said,
"The explosion occurred at 3:30 pm (1230 GMT) because of an explosive charge planted by
unknown individuals inside the well, located 47 miles (75 km) west of Kirkuk." He added, "It inflicted
massive damage in the well,
and firefighters are having a hard time extinguishing it because the explosion occurred inside the well
and not in the pipelines."
Qazzaz said firemen would need two days to put out the fire, and noted "the well is a principal producer
for oil exports through the Iraqi-Turkish pipeline and for covering local market demands."
46. March 26 - pipeline in the southern Basra oil facilities on fire, said an official from Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization. Iraqi guards on duty at Shuaiba, near the southern city of Basra, said saboteurs ignited crude oil that leaked from the pipeline. A British military spokesman disagreed with the report, saying "It was not the result of an explosion. We understand that a pipeline valve failed and fire broke out from the resultant spillage."
47. April 4 - attack on oil pipeline in southern Iraq which links Basra with Faw port on the Persian Gulf.
ruptured it and set the oil ablaze.
48. April 8 - mortar round hit natural gas tank and another hit a pipeline at a plant north of Kirkuk operated by the
Northern Iraqi Company (NOC) Jumaa Ahmad, head of the fire fighting brigade, said.
49. April 21 - bombing on pipeline north of Baghdad.
50. April 24 - suicide bombers in three boats blew themselves up in and around the Basra terminal zone, one of the most heavily guarded facilities of its kind in the world.
51. May 8 - bomb 35 miles (56 km) south of Basra damaged an 18-foot section of one of two pipelines running from Basra to the Faw peninsula on the Gulf. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Spokesman Steve Wright said oil exports from the Basra and Khor al-Amaya offshore southern terminals, through which about 90% of Iraq's oil exports flow, were stopped as a result: "Pumping has stopped. They attacked in the vicinity where the manifold goes into the sea." According to Iraqi officials exports were still flowing from Basra albeit at a reduced rate of 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) compared with 1.6 million bpd prior to the attack as oil from the damaged pipeline is flowing through the parallel pipeline. Ali Nasr al-Rubaie, director of the main port terminal said exports had been halved following the attack: "We have dropped from an average of 80,000 barrels per hour to 40,000 barrels per hour."
52. May 8 - attack on oil pipeline taking crude northwards from the country’s southern oilfields at point 25 miles (40 km) south of Baghdad, oil ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said on Saturday, noting it would take several days to start pumping oil again.
53. May 9 - blast near a strategic oil pipeline network linking north and south Iraq, by the town of Musayyib, about 56 miles (90 km) south of Baghdad. Unclear what caused the explosion or whether the pipeline itself was damaged.
54. May 13 - rocket landed in a gas plant at the Daura oil refinery in Baghdad, injured a worker and caused a fire.
55. May 24 - explosion badly damaged the Northern pipeline at around 7pm local time on a section between the Kirkuk oilfields and the Dibis pumping installations. A security official of Iraq's Northern Oil Company, Juma Ahmad, said pumping had to be stopped to fight the fire. Another security official for Northern Oil, Issam Muhammad, said while the fire had been put out it would take 12 days to repair the damage.
56. May 26 - explosion on Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline near Kirkuk.
57. May 26 - explosion on southern pipeline through which oil flows to the Persian Gulf.
58. June 6 - attack on Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. Iraq's Northern Oil Company (NOC) chief Ghazi Talabani said
"Assailants detonated sound grenades on the pipeline Sunday at dawn (local time), 120 km (75 miles) east of Kirkuk, causing damage, and a loss of a huge quantity of oil." He said "The oil loss has been stopped and a group of technical experts are repairing the pipeline and the damage could be repaired by Tuesday night. Restarting production depends on the decision of the coalition and the oil ministry." NOC project manager Abdullah al-Rubai had earlier denied the attack.
59. June 6 - explosion on oil pipeline that feeds the Basra terminal near Basra on the Faw Peninsula's southern end.
The blast slowed oil flow from 80,000 barrels per hour to 40,000.
60. June 9 - blast on oil pipeline near Bayji 155 miles (250 km) north of Baghdad cut supplies to the Bayji electric power station and according to Iraq Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad forced a reduction of 400 megawatts, amounting to a 10% output cut on the national power grid.
61. June 9 - blast on Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Anwar Hamed Amin, chief of Iraqi Civil Defence Corps, said
"A bomb placed 80 km (50 miles) west of Kirkuk exploded at 8:20am [local time] on the main pipeline to the Ceyhan terminal."
62. June 15 - Explosion in the morning on a pipeline through which oil flows from the Zubeir 1 pumping station to a depot in Faw, 40 miles southeast of Basra.
63. June 15 - Another explosion, during the evening, on a southern pipeline. Together with the attack on the pipeline to Basra, the attack on this 48-inch pipeline through which oil flows to Khor al-Amaya port cut oil exports from the south by over half according to the Iraqi Southern Oil Company.
64. June 15 - ``An oil pipeline connecting the fields in Kirkuk and a processing station in Bajwan, 20 km (12 miles) north of the city, was sabotaged and a fire broke out,'' said Adel Kazaz, a North Oil Company director. The pipeline supplied oil to domestic refineries.
65. June 16 - 42-inch Pipeline to Basra terminal, the key terminal from which most of Iraq's 1.6 million bpd of Basra Light were exported, attacked again. Iraqi Southern Oil Company's spokesman said: "Due to the damage inflicted on the two pipelines, the pumping of oil to the Basra oil terminal has completely stopped," adding that southern exports have "come to halt."
A Iraqi oil official reported "There are no exports from Basra oil terminal or Khor al-Amaya and it is unclear when they will restart," adding, "Both pipelines feeding the terminals have been destroyed."
66. June 16 - Chief of security for Iraq's Northern Oil Company, Ghazi Talabani, 70, was shot and killed in Kirkuk as he was being driven to work. His driver was badly wounded. The assassins escaped.
67. June 21 - blast on pipeline transporting crude oil from the northern town of Bayji to Daura refinery at point near al-Mashahidah, 20 miles (32 km) north of Baghdad. The explosion interrupted supplies to the refinery, that provides the domestic Iraqi market with gasoline, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas.
68. June 26 - explosion near Latifiyah, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Baghdad, on small pipeline that feeds crude oil to storage tanks in Latifiyah.
69. June 29 - another blast on pipeline near Latifiyah.
70. July 3 - Fire in Al-Maqalai, southeast of the Az-Zubayr oil fields, on one of the two pipelines that feed the southern terminals resulted in a drop by half of Iraqi oil exports to 960,000 barrels per day. Exports in the South fell from 84,000 barrels per hour to 40,000. While one Iraqi oil official said, "Fire is raging in the 42-inch pipeline on the Faw Peninsula. It was sabotage," an official from the Southern Iraqi Oil Company said "News that one of the key oil export pipeline in the Faw peninsula was attacked by saboteurs are baseless."
71. July 3 - bomb blast during changing of the guard at an oil storage facility south of Baghdad in Al Latifiyah killed six
Iraqi National Guard soldiers and wounded five more.
72. July 4 - attack on pipeline that carries oil from the northern oil fields to the south at point near Musayyib, about 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Baghdad.
73. July 6 - blast on gas pipeline that feeds multiple power plants in the center and north of Iraq and a gas canister factory in Taji, north of Baghdad, that provides gas for many homes.
Head of the Northern Gas Company, Huner Hassan, said "A device exploded along the pipeline about 90 km (56 miles) south of Kirkuk, sparking a fire." He noted "This is going to affect electricity production for the country and the production of gas for domestic use."
74. July 10 - explosion at approximately 6:30am local time about 55 miles (88 km) west of Kirkuk in the Safra area on a gas pipeline that runs from the gas fields in Kirkuk to a power station in Bayji sparked a fire on,
according to the Northern Gas Co. head of security, Ahmed al-Hassan, less than a meter of the pipeline.
75. July 14 - Northern Oil Company police officer was shot to death while manning a checkpoint
near a pipeline in Riyad, approximately 80 km southwest of Kirkuk.
76. July 15 - explosion on pipeline running from the northern oil fields to the Beiji refinery.
77. July 15 - holes were drilled on a major southern pipeline that runs to offshore export terminals.
The damage occured in the al-Askari district, 20 km
south-west of Basra, according to head of the Iraqi Border Police, Staff Brigadier General Ali al-Mousawi. It
appears this may be the work of looters.
78. July 15 - explosion near Fatha, some 55 miles (90 km) west Kirkuk, at about 8:40 a.m.
(0440 GMT) on oil pipeline that runs from the major oil fields in Kirkuk
and the Turkish port Ceyhan. The resulting fire has been extinguished and repairs on the pipeline
are expected to begin July 17.
79. July 16 - attempted mortar attack on northern oil pipeline that runs from Kirkuk to Ceyhan failed.
According to a security official at the Northern Oil Company, Ahmad Hassan Afif, "A mortar round was thrown at about 8:10 am (0410 GMT) on the pipeline near to Riad, 35 kilometres west of Kirkuk, causing a fire in a pool of oil created by leaks, but failing to cause any other damage."
80. July 17 - attempt to blow up natural gas pipeline failed as saboteur's bomb exploded prematurely, killing him but not damaging the pipeline.
81. July 19 - explosion on oil pipeline that runs through al-Debis region northwest of Kirkuk, supplying oil for domestic use in refineries and power plants.
82-83. July 23 - two blasts on 125 mile (200 km) long oil pipeline that runs from al-Daura refinery in Baghdad to Beiji, at point about 12 miles (20 km) south of Samarra.
84. July 24 - explosion southwest of the town of Samarra, 60 miles (100 km) north of Baghdad, sparked a fire on pipeline that carries oil from Beiji refinery to Baghdad.
85. July 24 - blast in the vicinity of Tharthar Lake, 100 miles (160 km) southeast of Kirkuk, on oil pipeline that runs from the oil fields around Kirkuk to Al-Dura power station, south of Baghdad.
86. July 28 - premature explodulation killed two saboteurs who tried to place a bomb on
an oil pipeline near Kirkuk. The pipeline was not damaged.
87. August 3 - explosion about 75 miles (120 km) west of Kirkuk at Al-Fateha on critical pipeline juncture
caused a huge fire and road closure between the Beiji refineries and Kirkuk and halted exports through the northern pipeline to Ceyhan.
88. August 5 - bomb on oil pipeline in Kirkuk area found by Northern Oil Company security personnel exploded as Task Force Danger troops were investigating it. No injuries.
89. August 5 - blast on the Kirkuk to Ceyhan oil pipeline sparked a fire that was swiftly contained since oil flow was
halted on the pipeline as a result of the Aug. 3 attack.
90. August 5 - attack sparked fire on gas pipeline that feeds both the Bayji power station and
a propane factory in Taji 12 miles (20 km) north of Baghdad.
Northern Oil Company's gas division director, Honer Najib, said "Firefighters are trying to contain the blaze but the sabotage is going to effect the
production of electricity in Iraq."
91. August 9 - attack halted oil flow on the major pipeline that feeds the southern terminals,
reducing exports from 1.9 mbd to the about 1 mbd, fed through the smaller
92. August 14 - attack on domestic oil pipeline near the town of Mussayyib south of
Baghdad sparked fire, and has caused shortages in the domestic supply of gasoline.
93. August 15 - rocket-propelled grenades were fired on an oil well
25 miles (40 km) east of the southern town of Amarah setting it ablaze.
94. August 18 - Northern Iraqi oil company security officer was killed and 2 others wounded
6 miles (10 km) from Kirkuk.
95. August 19 - attackers inflitrated the Basra headquarters of the Iraqi Southern Oil
Company setting a fire that obliterated warehouses containing drilling equipment, among other items,
spread to the firm's offices, and cut electricity.
"They came in droves, surrounded the building and looted it before setting it on fire," said a
company official. Firefighters arriving at the compound were shot at and fled.
96. August 20 - attack apparently perpetuated by al-Sadr loyalists sparked fire on pipeline through which oil flows from the Bezergan oil field
in the south to a refinery in Amarah, 180 miles (290 km) southeast of Baghdad.
97. August 20 - explosion at 8:30am on domestic pipeline through which oil flows from Kirkuk to Baiji
refinery at point 19 miles (30 km) west of Kirkuk.
98. August 21 - blast near pipeline valve at Berjisiya, 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Basra, sparks fire on oil pipeline
connecting the Rumeila
oilfields with export storage tanks in the Faw peninsula. Another bomb was found nearby and defused.
The pipeline was shut for a week due to sabotage threats. Lt. Mohammed al-Mousawi of the Iraqi National Guard explained
"The aim behind attack is to damage the pipeline in case it is turned on again."
Note: Permanent URL for this page is http://www.iags.org/iraqpipelinewatch.htm
Fencing in looters and saboteurs in Iraq: Too many people in and outside of Iraq are hoping to deny Iraq a better future through a campaign of sabotage and plunder of the country's neglected oil facilities. The problem, and possible solutions.
Minding Its Business: Saudi Arabia, which has demonstrated its willingness to use its vast oil reserves as a foreign policy tool, has not acted to aid U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq.