Platts reports that reduced pumping rates through Iraq's northern oil export pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan are expected to cause delays of eight to nine days to crude oil loadings.
Pumping through the pipeline, damaged by a bomb attack over a week ago, resumed on Wednesday but at below normal levels, the sources said. The news comes despite reports last week that volumes would be increased to compensate for the stoppage.
"Kirkuk pumping has restarted and tonight the loading of Conoco's vessel will be completed but they don't have oil in stock in Ceyhan, so what they pump is what they can load and as I understand the daily rate is not enough to load at least five vessels that are waiting there, almost 6 million barrels," Platt's source said.
The rate of pumping is said to be 510,000 barrels of crude per day, which is described as 'below normal'. According to reports, 188,000 will be used for the ConocoPhillips vessel presently being loaded and the problem is that they don't have stocks at Ceyhan and five vessels are waiting.
The same source said that delays of eight to nine days are expected until normal rates resume.
Some shipping agents have said that "technical" problems have been preventing the loading of larger volumes from Ceyhan storage.