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Iraqi Crude Exports Dropped by 11%

Source: Wall Street Journal 1/8/2013, Location: Middle East

Iraq's crude oil exports in December fell by 11% because of bad weather in southern oil export terminals and suspension of exports from the Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, people familiar with the State Oil Marketing Organization, or SOMO, said.

Crude exports fell to 2.348 million barrels a day, from 2.620 million barrels a day in November, according to the people.

They added Iraq exported 2.023 million barrels a day from its southern oil fields in December, compared with 2.194 million barrels a day in November.

"There were days of bad weather at the export terminals in the Gulf," one person told Dow Jones Newswires.

Some 314,000 barrels a day were exported from northern oil fields to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey in December, compared with 416,000 barrels a day in the previous month. Another 11,000 barrels a day were shipped by truck to Jordan in December, the people said.

One person said that northern oil exports were reduced in December because the Kurdistan Regional Government suspended their oil exports of nearly 90,000 barrels a day.

The Kurds have suspended exports due to payments the central government needs to make to producing companies in Kurdistan.

The federal government has withheld payment of 350 billion Iraqi dinars ($296.6 million) because the northern region had failed to export the agreed amount of oil, a government official in Baghdad said last week.

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