Greece’s Motor Oil Hellas has emerged as the buyer of a spot cargo of Kirkuk crude oil tendered by Iraq’s state oil marketer Somo last week, MEES understands (MEES, 3 February). The cargo was to be loaded from Turkey’s Ceyhan export terminal ten days following the closing of the tender, although the temporary closure of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline following this week’s devastating earthquake could disrupt this.

Kirkuk crude (34° API, 2.2% sulfur) is produced by state-firm North Oil Company (NOC) from federal fields in northern Iraq, including Bai Hassan and the Kirkuk field’s Avana and Baba domes. NOC has production capacity of up to 350,000 b/d, most of which is refined domestically. The remainder is exported by pipeline to Turkey, with Turkey’s Tupras taking around 75,000 b/d in recent months. (CONTINUED - 605 WORDS)