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The truth behind oil theft in Iraq's Basra

Iraqi members of parliament have recently addressed the Oil Ministry with allegations related to the daily theft of Basra oil due to the malfunctioning of oil counters, to which the ministry responded without offering any proof.
Flames emerge from flare stacks at the oil fields in Basra, southeast of Baghdad, Iraq January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani - RTSVXV9

BASRA, Iraq — On Jan. 15, Iraqi members of parliament, including Sadeq al-Mhanna from the ruling National Alliance, revealed that they are in possession of documents that prove the theft of 300,000 barrels of Basra oil by officials who modified the counters.

A Jan. 25 statement issued by the Oil Ministry in response to the allegation said, “Iraq adopts the best international standards in exporting oil via export ports. The process is supervised by local and international agencies.” The statement added that the ministry “employs an advanced electronic counters system calibrated according to international standards. The system is certified and approved by Intertek, an international testing company that supervises loading procedures, as well as the inspection and approval of exported quantities via the counters.”

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