A marine mine was discovered on an oil tanker that is being chartered by Iraq's State Organization for Marketing of Oil or SOMO. The tanker is anchored in the al-Mekhtaf are off the Iraqi port of Khor al-Zubair and therefore does pose a threat to Basra port that Iraq uses in loading crude oil for export.
SOMO officials stated that the tanker has been moored at Khor al-Zubair since Nov. 25. It is being used as a single-point mooring to store crude coming from the refineries in Iraq before they are loaded to oil tankers of international buyers.
They added that there is no problem to the export of crude oil nor does it pose any danger to incoming and outgoing oil tankers in the area. Exports continue according to planned rates.
It was last Thursday when the marine mine was found attached to the hull of the oil tanker while fueling another ship in the international Gulf waters some 51 kilometers from Iraq's oil ports.
Explosive experts were immediately dispatched to diffuse the limpet mine.