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• Iraqi exports recovered in September with initial oil ministry estimates showing 2.542mn b/d exports from the southern ports of Basra and Khor al-Amaya.
• The figure is 167,000 b/d up on August exports but still below the 2.8mn b/d exported in February, the highest level since 1979 (see graph).
• The closure of the Baiji refinery, Iraq’s largest, should, in theory, have freed more crude for export but infrastructure constraints and a lack of sufficient storage is still a barrier to higher export levels despite the expansion of capacity at the key southern ports, the country’s sole export outlet at the present time. The northern oil pipeline from Kirkuk is badly damaged due to constant sabotage attacks in previous years and has been offline since early March.
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