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Iraq’s Southern Oil Exports Rise To New High In August

Iraq set a new record for oil shipments from its southern ports in August, sending out 3.583 million bpd of oil last month and beating the July record of 3.543 million bpd, data by Iraq’s oil ministry showed over the weekend.

Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, has been boosting its oil exports since June, after OPEC and its Russia-led non-OPEC partners in the deal agreed to reverse some of their production cuts—or as they frame it, to ease compliance rates to 100 percent.

Iraq’s federal government exported 3.583 million bpd in August, or a total of 111,061,618 barrels from central and south Iraq, reaping a total of US$7.73 billion in revenues at the price of its oil averaging US$69.593, the oil ministry quoted the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) as saying this weekend.

Iraq’s exports from the south were set on a record pace in August, judging from the high levels of exports in the first 19 days—around 3.7 million bpd, an industry source who compiled ship-tracking data told Reuters earlier this month.

Iraq has been ramping up exports from its southern ports not only in a sign that OPEC’s second-largest producer is following through with the cartel’s decision to ease compliance rates, but also to compensate for lost exports in the north. Around 300,000 bpd of crude oil previously pumped and exported in the Kirkuk province have been shut in since the Iraqi federal government moved in October to take control over the oil fields in Kirkuk from Kurdish forces. The dispute between Iraq’s federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) over oil exports via Turkey has yet to be resolved.

Related: Analysts: Iran May Use Secret Oil Shipments To Skirt U.S. Sanctions

KRG saw its August oil exports from the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan surge by 40 percent compared to July’s 320,000 bpd exports, sources in the Kurdistan region to S&P Global Platts.

Kurdistan exported a total of 445,000 bpd from Ceyhan in August, of which 370,000 bpd was by way of the KRG’s independent pipeline through Turkey. The remainder was drawn from storage at Ceyhan, according to Platts’ sources.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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