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Sat 28 Feb 2009 01:39 PM

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Basra oil exports down due to depleted stocks

Oil shipper says half normal number of barrels left southern Iraq on Saturday.

Oil exports from Iraq's southern Basra terminal fell to a rate of 648,000 barrels per day on Saturday from 1.48 million bpd on Friday due to reduced crude stocks in storage, a shipper said.

Exports from Basra, which tend to fluctuate along with weather or technical problems, averaged 1.4 million bpd in January, according to the State Oil Marketing Organisation.

Iraq, which has the world's third largest proven oil reserves, is seeking to boost output to raise government revenues to rebuild after years of war.

Oil production averages 2.3-2.4 million bpd nationally, still short of output before the US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Basra is the country's chief oil terminal. (Reuters)

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