Noam Raydan is a Senior Fellow at The Washington Institute.
Articles & Testimony
Efforts to expand the tanker fleet are welcome, but officials must also hire the right staff, untangle the regulatory environment, conduct major restructuring, and clarify questions about existing joint ventures.
Shipping is one of many sectors where Iraq is still playing catch-up after decades of conflict. To this end, the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC) recently added a new oil products tanker to its small fleet. Its vessels mostly operate within Iraqi waters, shuttling heavy fuel oil from two ports in the south of the country. The Sumer, a medium range ship with 31,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) built in China, arrived in Iraq in September. IOTC is also set to receive a sister ship, the Akkad, constructed by the same shipbuilder and which departed for Basra on Dec. 1. The Iraqi company has portrayed the new vessels as part of its efforts to rebuild a fleet that once consisted of over 20 tankers. But major obstacles to its ambitions remain...