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Iraq Dec crude oil exports, output up to 4.143 mil b/d, 4.465 mil b/d respectively

Dubai — Iraqi oil exports surged by about 330,000 b/d in December to 4.143 million b/d, Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization said Thursday, recovering from rough weather in November that had led to a fall in loadings from the southern port of Basra.

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Production was little changed in December, rising just 10,000 b/d to 4.465 million b/d, SOMO said in a statement.

Platts estimated Iraq's December production at 4.67 million b/d in its latest OPEC survey.

Both data sets include production from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The oil ministry reported last week that federal Iraqi exports from the southern Gulf terminals rose 25,000 b/d on the month to 3.63 million b/d in December.

Federal exports of Kirkuk crude via pipeline through the Kurdistan region to the Turkish port of Ceyhan surged to 99,000 b/d in December from 9,000 b/d in November.

The figures imply that exports by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government from Ceyhan totaled 411,000 b/d in December, down from 437,000 b/d in November.

They also imply that domestic consumption -- for power generation and refining -- was 322,000 b/d, a significant drop from November's 646,000 b/d.

The ministry said last week it plans to keep output steady at 4.513 million b/d for the next six months, a rate which is in line with the 140,000 b/d cut from its October level agreed at the last OPEC meeting.

In November, the Iraqi cabinet sent a budget to parliament that estimates 3.88 million b/d of oil exports at $56/b for 2019, according to a draft seen by Platts.

--Miriam Malek, miriam.malek@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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