Iraq Resumes Oil Exports to Ceyhan Terminal

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 8/30/2006, Location: Middle East

Iraq on Tuesday resumed pumping crude oil from its Kirkuk oil fields to the Turkish port of Ceyhan after a seven-week suspension, an Iraqi oil official said. He said the flow was resumed Tuesday afternoon without giving a rate.

Iraq needs to fill tanks with a capacity of around 7.5 million barrels at the Mediterranean port before it starts selling the crude.

The official said the resumption came after repairing a 40-inch diameter pipeline that carries crude from Kirkuk oil fields to Ceyhan.

Iraq had suspended crude oil pumping from Kirkuk to Ceyhan since July 7. Iraqi oil officials said the flow was stopped because technicians were repairing a leak at one point of the pipeline. But some news reports said the flow was suspended because the pipeline was sabotaged. Iraq resumed exports of Kirkuk crude through its northern oil pipeline to Ceyhan in June for the first time since August 2005.

Since the June restart, Baghdad has sold 8.6 million bbls of crude in its first three tenders, boosting overall exports for June to around 1.66 million barrels a day from 1.5 million b/d in May.

The bulk of Iraqi crude oil exports are from southern oil terminals at the Persian Gulf, exporting around 1.5 million b/d.


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