Maintenance work to cut Iraq oil exports




 Crude oil exports from Iraq will be cut by between 400,000 and 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September due to rehabilitation and maintenance work on the country’s southern ports, an oil official said.
The official said a third offshore terminal would be installed as well as a metering station, and that the rehabilitation will boost export capacity from Iraq’s southern ports by 900,000 bpd.
“We decided to start rehabilitation works and maintenance of the southern oil ports and offshore terminals in September and that will cut exports by 400,000-500,000 bpd,” said the senior South Oil Company official.
Iraq’s oil exports fell to 2.328 million bpd in June from 2.484 million bpd in May due to a slowdown in Kirkuk oil shipments after repeated pipeline leakages and bad weather disrupted exports in the south.
According to oil shipping figures tracked by Reuters, Iraq’s oil exports have fallen this month to 2.27 million bpd, a fifth below the government’s target of 2.9 million bpd this year.
Iraq, which has the world’s fourth largest oil reserves, has ambitious plans to increase oil exports to as much as 6 million bpd after decades of sanctions and war.
Exports reached 2.62 million bpd last November, the highest level in decades, but progress has since been reversed.
An analyst who estimates future shipments, meanwhile, said seaborne oil exports from OPEC, excluding Angola and Ecuador, will fall by 410,000 bpd in the four weeks to Aug. 10.
Exports will reach 23.95 million bpd on average, compared with 24.36 million bpd in the four weeks to July 13, British consultancy Oil Movements said in its weekly estimate.
“It is a steep drop because it (sailings in previous weeks) went so high,” Roy Mason of Oil Movements said. “Summer is over in effect for long haul crude.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumps more than a third of the world’s oil.
At a May meeting in Vienna, the 12-member group agreed to keep its 30 million bpd output target for the rest of 2013.


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