* Southern exports so far in Feb fall slightly after Jan
* Iraq's share of OPEC production cut is 210,000 bpd
* Export data points to lower shipments from northern Iraq
By Alex Lawler
LONDON, Feb 16 Oil exports from Iraq's southern
terminals have edged lower so far in February, according to
loading data and an industry source, a sign that OPEC's
second-largest producer is keeping a lid on shipments following
a commitment to cut output.
During negotiations on the supply cut by OPEC and non-OPEC
producers, Iraq had sought an exemption - leading to scepticism
that the country would comply with the accord. The deal
stipulates that Iraq cut output by 210,000 barrels per day.
Exports from southern Iraq - the outlet for most of the
country's crude - in the first 15 days of February averaged 3.24
million bpd, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and
by an industry source.
That would be a slight decline from January, when southern
exports fell to 3.28 million bpd, two oil executives told
Reuters. Iraq said southern shipments were 3.51
million bpd in December, a record high.
The OPEC cut started on Jan. 1. Although it is only
mid-February, the export level lends support to comments from
Iraqi officials that Baghdad is lowering output.
Iraq's oil minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, told Reuters in London
last month that he was "very happy" with the progress of the
output-cutting agreement, and stressed that Baghdad was
Initial signs are that OPEC in January achieved a record
rate of more than 90 percent compliance with the accord.
Although Iraq cut output by 200,000 bpd in January, it has
yet to reach the agreement's target level, putting its
compliance below that of other members such as top exporter
It is not possible to draw firm conclusions about production
from a few weeks of export data, not least because the deal by
the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other
independent producers applies to output, not exports.
Iraq's exports can be volatile day-to-day, affected by bad
weather and technical snags among other factors.
The bulk of Iraq's oil is exported via the southern
terminals. Smaller amounts are shipped from northern Iraq via
Ceyhan in Turkey.
Northern exports have averaged about 600,000 bpd so far in
February, data shows, down from well above 600,000 bpd in
January. The Kurdistan Regional Government said November exports
were 540,000 bpd and has yet to give any 2017 figures.
(Editing by Dale Hudson)