Iraq’s oil ministry announced 16 November that it has struck a preliminary deal with the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to resume exports from Kirkuk to Ceyhan via the KRG’s 1mn b/d export pipeline. The deal comes less than a month after Adil Abd al-Mahdi was confirmed as Prime Minister (MEES, 26 October). State marketer SOMO will oversee exports which the ministry expects to be in the neighborhood of 50,000-100,000 b/d initially.

MEES estimates that North Oil Company (NOC) has 150,000-200,000 b/d shut in at Kirkuk (MEES, 9 November) – a figure Baghdad can effectively halve with regained pipeline access. Exports can be expected to resume almost immediately as SOMO says it has buyers lined up to lift from Ceyhan. Iraqi production set an all-time record last month of 4.65mn b/d in October, and with a northern export route secured for federal Iraqi crude, this number is set to rise further. (CONTINUED - 152 WORDS)