Iraq’s southern export capacity stands at “4mn b/d for the time being” according to Ali Nazar al-Shatari, deputy director general of state marketer Somo. That this is considerably less than the 4.6mn b/d officials, including Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi, said had been achieved by end-2017 is symptomatic of the dilapidated nature of much of the infrastructure (MEES, 13 April).

Current southern exports flow entirely from the 1.6mn b/d Basra Oil Terminal (BOT) and three of...