By John Lee.
Reuters reports that Iraq's crude oil exports from its southern ports have risen by 120,000 bpd so far in October compared to last month, suggesting the country is on course to reach its highest export rate in decades.
According to shipping data, exports from Basra have averaged 2.30 million bpd in the first 18 days of October, up from 2.18 million bpd in September. Shipments in August of 2.25 million bpd were the highest since before the 2003 invasion.
With around 400,000 bpd from the northern oil fields, Iraq looks on course to export more in October than September's level of 2.6 million bpd, which was its highest total exports in more than 30 years.
The country is aiming to boost shipments to over 2.8 million bpd this month, an Iraqi oil official said last week; this would require exports to increase even more in the coming days.
"[Iraq has] the production and the export capacity, so they are ramping up," said a source at a Western oil company which buys Iraqi oil. "And for once, Iraq is having smooth export programs and operations."