Iraq’s Kurdish Region Stops all Crude Oil Exports

Source: Bloomberg 9/11/2011, Location: Middle East

The semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq halted all exports of crude, Iraqi Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said. The Kurdistan Regional Government had been exporting 100,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels a day before the interruption, al-Luaibi told reporters in Amman, Jordan.

“Today I was surprised that production had gone down,” he said. “Yesterday it was 37,000 barrels a day, and today there is nothing.”

Iraq, the third-biggest producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia and Iran, is struggling to boost oil exports, its main source of revenue for rebuilding an economy crippled by years of conflict and sanctions. It exported a total of 2.19 million barrels of crude a day in August, Falah al-Amri, chairman of the State Oil Marketing Organization, said by telephone on Sept. 3.

An official at Iraq’s North Oil Co. confirmed the suspension of crude exports from the Kurdish region to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, Turkey. The official, declining to be identified in line with company policy, said he had no information about the reason for the halt.


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