By John Lee.
Iraq has again failed to restart exports of crude oil via the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline, reports UpstreamOnline.
Pumping was suspended since 21st June due to a leak in the Ain al-Jash area, around 290 kilometres northwest of Baghdad. There was a brief restoration of service last week, but flows are again reported to have stopped.
A source in Iraq told Reuters that normal pumping has not yet been resumed, in order to ensure that the repaired part of the line can handle the pressure, adding that intermittent pumping of crude was only for testing purposes.
The wire service said data from a shipping source showed that eight tankers were at anchor outside Ceyhan awaiting supplies, with one having been there since 19 June.
Loadings are not possible as crude stocks are down to zero, with delays now pegged at around 18 days, the source said, adding eight pipeline shipments for Turkey's sole refiner Tupras have also been delayed.
Iraq normally exports an average of 350,000 to 400,000 barrels a day but sabotage to the pipeline over the last few months, as well as technical problems, have curtailed flows.
Last month, Iraq only exported 193,000 barrels a day via the pipeline because of damage to the structure by unknown attackers.