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March 28, 2003
 
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Oil Developments in Iraq, Elsewhere
A Look at Oil Developments in Iraq, World Oil Markets

The Associated Press


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THE OIL FIELDS: Three fires were still burning Friday at damaged well heads in Iraq's Rumeila South oil field, firefighters said. An American team from Boots & Coots International Well Control planned to attack one of the blazes after positioning water tanks nearby, said the company's president, Brian Krause.

Kuwaiti firefighters ran out of water while trying to extinguish a separate well fire on Thursday. "We'll try to tackle it again" on Saturday, said Aisa Bouyabes, the Kuwait Oil Co.'s senior firefighter.

The number of oil well fires in Rumeila South has dwindled from seven, with the Kuwaiti team quenching one earlier this week. Firefighters hope to put out the remaining three fires within a week. After that, Krause said, "We'll probably stand by to some extent. There's a lot of war left."

Rumeila South, just north of the Kuwait-Iraq border, is one of Iraq's biggest oil fields. Air Marshal Brian Burridge, the top British commander in the Gulf, has said he expected Iraq to begin resuming oil exports from the field in three months. But some oil analysts say exports could resume within weeks, as U.S. and British forces have captured intact Iraq's main southern pipelines and its Persian Gulf export terminal of Mina al-Bakr.

THE MARKET: Oil prices see-sawed in volatile trading Friday after posting strong gains the previous day. May contracts of North Sea Brent, Europe's benchmark crude, were 22 cents lower at $26.60 a barrel in late trading in London, after peaking for the day at $27.74.

In New York, contracts of U.S. light, sweet crude for May delivery climbed as high as $31.05 a barrel before slipping 14 cents to $30.23 in afternoon trading.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
 
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