Iraq’s oil exports dropped to 2.34 million barrels per day (bpd) in December from 2.62 million bpd in November because of a slowdown in Kurdistan exports, rough weather and some technical problems with a single point tying up terminal, an official stated on Monday.
Abdul-Ilah Qasim, who is an energy adviser to the Iraqi government, said that Iraq has transported 2.02 million bpd from the southern oil hub of Basra, down from 2.194 million bpd in November.
Qasim also stated that the technical matters and the bad weather in the month December with the single point mooring in the Gulf contributed to the drop of exports from the southern ports.
OPEC member Iraq transports most of its oil through the south, with exports going up to pose-war higher records helped by the addition of two new offshore terminals last year.
A growth in exports of Iraq has helped offset the impact on global oil prices from Western sanctions on Iran’s crude exports.
A high sea tide of more than 2 meters could force to stop loading actions at the single point moorings, and that is what happened over December, Qasim expressed.
Lowered oil shipments from independent Iraqi Kurdistan region in December also pressed down the total average exports, after Baghdad said that the Kurdistan Regional Government failed for totally implementing an agreement reached October last year over exports.
December average of crude transports from the Iraqi Kurdistan region, dropped to only 23,000 barrels per day, from average of 180,000 bpd in November, and this caused national monthly exports to decrease, according to Qasim.
Qasim also stated that for example, Iraq received a crude shipment of only 3,000 barrels from Kurdistan on 30th December, 2012.
Iraq said that last month it will not pay the oil companies operating in the Kurdistan region, due to the failure of the region in exporting the volume of crude it pledged under their contract.
Tensions appeared to give relief in September, when Kurdistan, when Kurdistan and Baghdad struck an agreement under which the region agreed to carry on with the pumping its share of national oil exports for payment from the central government.
Under the agreement an export target of 200,000 bpd has been set for the last two months of 2012, and Kurdistan authorities pledged to lift the exports up to 250,000 bpd in 2013.
Following that deal, Baghdad transferred an initial a total of 650 billion Iraqi dinars ($ 560 million) to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). However, a second payment is still pending for the foreign companies in Kurdistan.
Source: [Al Arabiyah]