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Iraq's oil exports fall more than 200,000 bpd so far in Oct
October 23, 2017 / 3:03 PM / a month ago

Iraq's oil exports fall more than 200,000 bpd so far in Oct

* Southern exports in Oct fall 110,000 bpd

* Northern exports fall 100,000 bpd - shipping data

* Iraq plans to boost southern exports to offset northern drop

By Alex Lawler

LONDON, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Oil exports from southern Iraq have fallen by 110,000 barrels per day this month, according to shipping data and an industry source, adding to the drop in flows from OPEC’s second-largest producer caused by a shortfall from the northern Kirkuk fields.

Southern Iraqi exports in the first 22 days of October averaged about 3.13 million barrels per day (bpd), down 110,000 bpd from September, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and independent tracking by an industry source.

Output from Kirkuk fell last week when Iraqi forces retook control of oilfields from Kurdish fighters who had been there since 2014.

Northern exports have averaged about 460,000 bpd so far in October, according to shipping data and the industry source, down from an estimated 560,000 bpd in September.

The drop in northern Iraqi shipments has supported global oil prices. But southern exports, the outlet for most of the country’s crude, have been stable in recent months, making the decline unexpected.

“I am very surprised,” the industry source said, adding the reason was likely to be technical or weather-related.

A shipping agent said loading delays at one of Iraq’s single point moorings, where crude tankers are loaded, had contributed to the lower export rate.

Iraq could still boost southern exports in the rest of October and plans to do so. Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said on Saturday southern exports were increasing by 200,000 bpd to make up for the northern shortfall.

The drop in supplies from Iraq comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers are cutting output by about 1.8 million bpd until March 2018 in an effort to get rid of a glut and support prices.

Iraq has adhered less to the supply deal with non-OPEC producers than OPEC peers such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but the drop in its October shipments, if sustained, will help boost Iraqi and overall compliance with the deal.

The bulk of Iraq’s oil is exported via the southern terminals. Smaller amounts are shipped from the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq via Ceyhan in Turkey.

Editing by Dale Hudson

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