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Sun 13 Apr 2008 03:28 PM

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Iraq fully restores southern oil flow

Three fields back online after bomb attack on pipeline in late March shut them down, Iraqi oil officials say.

Iraq has fully restored 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil output from three fields that were shut down after a bomb attack on a pipeline in late March, Iraqi oil officials said on Sunday.

The attack on a pipeline on March 27 was the first to affect southern oil exports since 2004. The attack shut the Bazargan, Majoon and Bin Umar oilfields, which had been pumping around 100,000 bpd.

The Bin Umar field restarted about a week ago, one official said. The Majnoon and Bazargan fields had resumed pumping earlier.

"Everything is flowing fine now," another official said.

Iraqi engineers connected a pipeline by-pass to allow output from the fields to restart despite extensive damage to a branch of the line from Bazargan.

Iraq used oil storage at both the fields and its main southern oil Basra terminal to minimise the impact on shipments.

Iraq's southern oil exports flowed at around 1.68 million bpd on Sunday, up from around 1.44 million bpd on Saturday, a shipping source said.

Sunday's flow was at the top end of the typical pumping range from Basra of 1.2 million bpd to 1.7 million bpd. (Reuters)

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