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Federal Iraqi crude exports have been running at record levels for the past six months, despite the absence of any northern exports from Kirkuk. Exports averaged 3.46mn b/d over the past six months, marking the first instance when they have exceeded 3.4mn b/d for consecutive quarters (see chart).
The $19.1bn these brought in over 1Q was the most since 3Q 2014 when Iraqi crude exports averaged $96.81/B.
All exports are from Iraq’s southern terminals offshore Basra, and are well within claimed nameplate capacity of 4.6mn b/d ( MEES, 2 February ). But the reality is that Basra’s ageing and inadequate infrastructure means capacity is closer to 3.9mn b/d, and even then this is unsustainable. Upgrades to pumping stations at the onshore Fao depot are essential if Iraq is to fully utilize its installed offshore capacity ( MEES, 16 September 2016 ).
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