By John Lee.
Chinese oil companies are to maintain their purchasing of crude oil from Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) at the 2014 level for next year, according to a report from Reuters.
The decision has been attributed to a slowing of demand growth in China, the varying quality of Iraq's "Basra Light" crude, and Iraq's failure to deliver the full contracted volumes in 2014.
This is the first time in almost a decade that volumes have not increased year-on-year.
Reuters data shows that China's crude imports from Iraq rose in the first ten months of the year by nearly a quarter to 23.49 million tonnes -- equivalent to 566,387 bpd -- compared with the same period of 2014.