Iraq's Southern Exports Hit 6-month High

Reuters reports that Iraq's oil exports from its southern ports jumped last month to a six-month high, reflecting efforts by foreign oil companies to boost production.

Exports from the Basra oil terminal and Khor al-Amaya averaged 1.77 million bpd in July, shipping data tracked by Reuters showed. That is the highest since 1.8 million bpd was exported from the south in January.

BP and CNPC have been developing the Rumaila field, where supply is running at about 1.3 million bpd, BP said last week, up from around 1.2 million bpd in May.

More Basra crude than normal is heading to Europe this and next month, according to trading sources, partly in response to a rise in the price of competing Russian Urals.

Iraq's exports overall actually fell in July from June. According to shipping industry sources, exports of Kirkuk crude shipped from the country's north averaged 445,0000 bpd, less than in June.

A senior Iraqi official on Monday cited growing local demand, because of hot weather, for the decline in exports overall.

Falah Alamri, head of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation, said exports dipped to 2.164 million bpd from 2.275 million bpd in June as more crude was used domestically.

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