Oil exports from Iraq’s southern ports rose to an average of 3.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in November from 3.35 million bpd in October, Basra Oil Company Director General Ihsan Abdul Jabbar told Reuters on Friday.
Southern exports are on the rise as Iraq looks to offset the halting of exports from its Kirkuk oilfields in the north in mid-October after Baghdad government forces dislodged Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from the area.
A southern export figure of 3.9 million bpd released by the oil ministry on Thursday, the highest ever, referred just to output on Nov. 29, Abdul Jabbar said.
“The November average was 3.5 million bpd,” he said.
Southern exports are shipped by state-owned Basra Oil and sold by state oil marketer SOMO on behalf of the central government.
SOMO is also in charge of selling crude from Kirkuk but there were no exports from there in October or November, the oil ministry said.
Pipeline to Ceyhan
The Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq sells crude from its own fields through a pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.
Iraq is OPEC’s second-largest producer after Saudi Arabia with an output capacity of 4.8 million bpd which Baghdad aims to increase to 5 million bpd.
Actual production is less than 4.5 million bpd in line with an agreement among oil exporting nations to curb output in order to support crude prices and reduce global oil inventories.