By John Lee.
According to shipping data tracked by Reuters, oil exports from Iraq’s southern terminals are heading for a record high in April.
An average of 2.55 million barrels per day were shipped in the first 23 days of April, which if sustained would top February’s 2.50 million bpd, the highest since 1979.
Southern exports are being boosted by the start of production at Lukoil‘s West Qurna 2 oilfield (pictured).
In the north of the country, however, shipments of Kirkuk crude are reported to be still stalled due to a bomb blast on 2nd March, and traders are not expecting flow to resume for some weeks yet.
Without exports from the Kirkuk fields via pipeline to Turkey, overall shipments are set to be below February’s rate of 2.8 million bpd, which Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Hussain al-Shahristani described as a record.
(West Qurna-2 picture by Essam al-Sudani)