Kirkuk Ceyhan Pumping Likely to Resume Thursday

The pumping of Iraq's Kirkuk crude through Turkey to the Mediterranean terminal of Ceyhan is expected to resume Thursday, according to shipping sources.

Iraq stopped pumping the crude on Sunday for two separate reasons, the sources said.

"[The] June 6 shutdown [is] due to lack of oil and power [electricity], June 7 a small corrosion on the pipeline, now under repair," a shipping report released Wednesday showed.

It is believed that only one Aframax cargo has loaded since Sunday due to a lack of storage barrels, according to one market source.

Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) was not available for comment. 

The pumping of Kirkuk has been intermittent recently. As a result, SOMO has cut its allocation of Kirkuk crude to some of its customers in June, market sources said at the end of last month.

In the last two weeks of May, the rate of Kirkuk crude pumping was volatile and touched a low of 400,000 b/d some days. The average for the last week of May was 450,000 b/d, according to one source.

It is not clear why the pumping rate has been low but industry sources said there have been operational problems on the Iraqi side, which could not be verified.

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