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Expect Basrah Super Light in a few years, Iraq oil minister says

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Expect Basrah Super Light in a few years, Iraq oil minister says

Abu Dhabi — Iraq's plans to offer a new Basrah Super Light crude grade will depend on the development of the country's southern fields, oil minister Thamir Ghadhban said Wednesday, though he expects the stream to come online in the next few years.

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"In the coming years our plan is to introduce Basrah Super Light, which is from the Yamama reservoir," he told reporters in Abu Dhabi at an energy conference. "This is an oil blend that could go up to 38 API gravity, [depending on] the locality, but it is an extensive reservoir in the south of Iraq, and is extensive within Majnoon, West Qurna 1 and 2 and Ratawi, as well as Nasariya."

Iraq currently has two grades on offer: Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy. But the ministry has said that in the future it plans to introduce new grades. Iraq has also touted offering Basrah Medium, which would have an API gravity of 29-30 and 2% sulfur, but Ghadhban has said that grade is dependent on refurbishments to Iraq's southern export and storage terminals.

At the moment, most of Iraq's crude goes to buyers in Asia.

Iraq decided to split its Basrah crude grades to tackle complaints from buyers over quality. Iraq began to ship Basrah Heavy in June 2015.

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

-- Dania Saadi, dania.el.saadi@spglobal

-- Edited by Claudia Carpenter, claudia.carpenter@spglobal.com

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