Iraq oil exports continue despite marine mine on oil tanker

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BAGHDAD, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- Iraq said on Saturday that oil exports from its southern ports are continuing despite the discovery of a marine mine on the hull of an oil tanker in the Gulf water.

A statement by Iraq's State Organization for Marketing of Oil (SOMO) said that the location of the oil tanker with the limpet mine "is far from the Basra oil port and there is no danger to the export of crude oil, nor the incoming and docking tankers to load crude oil, and exports continue according to the planned rates."

It said that the oil tanker with limpet mine is chartered by SOMO to use it as a single-point mooring (SPM) to store the black oil produced by Iraqi refineries to be loaded onto oil tankers of international companies that buy it.

The tanker has been anchored in the al-Mekhtaf area off the Iraqi port of Khor al-Zubair since Nov. 25, the statement said.

The Iraqi authorities are working to defuse the mine, the statement added.

On Friday, the media office of the Joint Operations Command said in a statement that a marine mine was found attached to the hull of an oil tanker on Thursday afternoon while it was fuelling another ship in the international Gulf waters about 51 km away from Iraq's oil ports.

It said that explosive experts were dispatched to the scene and are working to defuse the limpet mine. Enditem

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