Iraq’s Southern Exports Hit Record 2.6mn b/d But North Still Out

Iraq managed to boost its crude oil exports in May over the previous month despite the continued stoppage of its northern pipeline. The rise coincided with commissioning of a third Single Point Mooring berth at Basra and the start of production from the Badra oil field, the second upstream capacity increment of 2014. The latest Ministry of Oil data show that Iraq exported a total of 80.036mn barrels of oil or 2.582mn b/d from its southern ports last month, a marginal increase from 2.509mn b/d in April (see graph p20). Northern exports have been halted since 2 March because of pipeline sabotage, which has forced the curtailment of northern production from Kirkuk and other fields operated by the North Oil Company. The pipeline is being repaired and, barring any security incidents, should be operational by the end of the week. If northern exports resume to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, Iraq could potentially top its February record of 2.8mn b/d. Given the delay in repairing the pipeline and indications that work to expand storage capacity at the southern Fao terminal is running behind schedule, Iraq will likely miss its 3.4mn b/d export target for 2014. The latest official export figures imply production of 3.3mn b/d in May, steady on the previous month (see table). (CONTINUED - 926 WORDS)