LONDON Feb 28 Iraq has trimmed exports of
Kirkuk crude oil to better meet its supply reduction obligations
with OPEC and deliver fuel for local needs amid its campaign
against Islamic State, a senior official from Iraq's
semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan said.
Kurdistan and Iraq agreed last year to jointly export crude
from the giant Kirkuk oilfield after cutting a preliminary
The minister of natural resources of Kurdistan, Ashti
Hawrami, told Reuters that in recent weeks Iraq has taken
40,000-50,000 barrels per day of its Kirkuk oil share to a local
refinery instead of exporting it, thus helping Baghdad's efforts
to comply with its OPEC supply reduction agreements.
"Baghdad needs some oil to supply to Mosul in anticipation
that the military operation there leads to a stabilisation of
the situation and an increase in demand for (oil) products,"
The Organization for the Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) reached a deal to reduce supply from January to help to
ease the global oil glut and prop up prices.
Iraq has yet to reach its targeted supply cuts but it has
already surprised OPEC watchers with its efforts to comply with
the deal, given that Baghdad had long opposed the idea of being
part of the producers' agreement.
OPEC says its agreement focuses on reducing production
rather than exports. However, the fact that Kirkuk barrels are
staying inside Iraq rather instead of being exported will help
to ease oversupply in the Mediterranean market.
(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by David Goodman)