March 28 —
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
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
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.
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