Iraqs south oil exports head for record in October

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Including around 400,000 bpd from Iraq’s northern 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.

Iraq is aiming to boost shipments to above 2.8 million bpd this month, an Iraqi oil official said last week. To get there, it would need to crank up southern exports even more in coming days, and increase shipments of Kirkuk crude in the north.

Exports of Kirkuk were scheduled at 430,000 bpd in October, a trader said, higher than September. Helping boost supplies, Iraq’s Kurdistan region decided to keep its exports flowing as part of a deal with Baghdad to end a payments dispute.

Crude produced in Kurdistan is fed into the Kirkuk export stream shipped from Ceyhan in Turkey. Delays to loadings, caused by intermittent flows through the pipeline from Iraq to Turkey, have so far been relatively minor, said a buyer of the crude.

“So far, it’s very smooth,” a trader said, referring to Kirkuk exports.

Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdistan region agreed last month to settle a dispute over oil payments after the Kurdistan Regional Government promised to continue exports and Baghdad pledged to pay foreign companies working there.

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