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Iraq has achieved record oil export levels of late, shipping a high of 2.8mn b/d of mainly Basrah Light crude in February this year. However, the designation of the staple Iraqi crude grade as ‘light,’ always something of a misnomer, has become even more so of late.
API gravity has fallen steadily, as heavier streams have been brought online. One expert says it will take at least six months to correct the imbalance.
Part of the problem for Iraq, which has not been able to sustain its February export levels, is that onshore infrastructure has lagged growth in production. The absence of sufficient storage that would allow for segregation of crude oil has meant that Iraq is still marketing its southern crude stream cocktail as Basrah Light despite the change in specification. (CONTINUED - 459 WORDS)