Iraq’s Somo Pursuing Strategic Shift Toward Crude Trading

Somo is looking to maximize revenue with spot sales and an increased East Asia presence. But more in-house expertise is needed to reach its trading potential.

As Iraq’s Oil Ministry pushes to tackle long-standing issues – both upstream and downstream, oil and gas ( MEES, 12 April ) – the State Oil Marketing Organization (Somo) is quietly working to fundamentally overhaul the way Iraq sells its most valuable resource.

“Our main intention is to get a better netback for each barrel of crude that we export,” Director General Alaa Alyasri tells MEES in a recent interview at Somo’s Baghdad HQ (see transcript, MEES, 24 May ). Mr Alyasri assumed the post in September 2017, replacing Falah Al-Amri who initially envisaged the shakeup of Somo the year before ( MEES, 15 September 2017 ). “Once taking over office, I immediately turned to the medium- and long-term plans, and the mechanisms that will make these possible,” Mr Alyasri says. (CONTINUED - 1016 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Iraqi Grades Are At Record Narrow Discounts To Brent ($/B, Brent=Zero)