Oil exports from Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest oil producer, have fallen by about 200,000barrels per day (bpd) so far in June due to bad weather disrupting loadings, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and industry sources.
Exports from the south, Iraq’s main shipping outlet, have averaged about 2 million bpd in the first 21 days of June, the data show, down about 200,000 bpd from 2.198 million bpd during all of May.
Iraq’s exports, which rose sharply in 2012, have slowed in recent months. They were also lower in May because of a drop in Kirkuk oil shipments from northern Iraq after pipeline attacks and maintenance work in the south.
The latest decline is not expected to last into July, as it mostly reflects the impact of poor weather disrupting tanker loadings rather than production shortfalls or unplanned outages.
“It was only the weather,” said a source with a company that buys Iraqi crude. “I think the rest is all good.”
Shipments of Kirkuk so far in June have averaged about 280,000 bpd, similar to May, according to traders of the crude, leaving Iraq’s exports on track to average around 2.28 million bpd without a rebound in the final part of the month.
Iraq’s oil exports fell to 2.484 million bpd in May from2.62 million in April, government officials said on June 2.
Exports of Kirkuk remain restrained by a dispute between the central government and Kurdistan over payments. In addition, a bomb attack on the pipeline to Turkey interrupted flows.