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Iraq's August oil exports lower on tighter OPEC+ compliance

Highlights

August exports were at 2.597 mil b/d, down from 2.763 mil b/d in July

Iraq had pledged an extra 400,000 b/d a month cuts in Aug, Sep

Iraq overproduced in May-July

Dubai — Iraq's oil exports, excluding those from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, fell 6% in August from July, the oil ministry said Sept. 1, signaling tighter compliance with its OPEC+ quota.

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Exports fell to 2.597 million b/d in August from 2.763 million b/d in July, the oil ministry said in a statement. Exports were only 2% lower in July than in May. The ministry didn't publish production figures.

OPEC's second largest oil producer earned $3.517 billion as it sold its crude at an average of $43.693/b in August, compared with $3.491 billion at an average of $40.762/b in July.

Exports from its central and southern fields averaged 2.5 million b/d in August compared with 2.67 million b/d in July, while flows from Kirkuk via the Turkish port of Ceyhan averaged 97,000 b/d compared with 87,000 b/d in July.

Iraq had pledged to cut an extra 400,000 b/d in each of August and September to make up for overproduction in May through July in a plan endorsed by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies. Its August quota is 3.804 million b/d, excluding voluntary extra cuts to compensate for overproduction.

That would put Iraq's effective quota at 3.404 million b/d.

Quota compliance

Iraq pumped 3.697 million b/d of crude in July, including Kurdish output, compared with 3.698 million b/d in June, according to figures from state oil marketing company SOMO. Iraq's quota was 3.592 million b/d in July.

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz has made quota compliance a top priority as co-chairman of a key OPEC+ monitoring committee with Russian energy minister Alexander Novak. The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, which is convening monthly, is set to meet online Sept. 17.

OPEC and its allies, including Russia, rolled over their 9.6 million b/d in collective production cuts through July to help bolster the market as it emerges from the depths of the coronavirus crisis. As of Aug. 1, their total cuts will be 7.7 million b/d as the coalition begins to ease output curbs.

Data compiled for the JMMC and seen by S&P Global Platts shows the 23-country OPEC+ coalition exceeded its quotas by 357,000 b/d from May to July, though that is boosted by significant over-compliance by Saudi Arabia, which had said it intended to lead by example with a voluntary extra 1 million b/d cut in June.