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Iraqi crude exports slump to seven-month low in November at 3.372 mil b/d

London — Federal Iraq's crude oil exports fell to 3.372 million b/d in November, the lowest since April this year, as loadings were affected by rough weather, according to a statement from the oil ministry released over the weekend.

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Exports from the Persian Gulf terminals fell to 3.363 million b/d while loadings of Kirkuk crude transported through the Kurdistan-Turkey pipeline rose to 9,000 b/d, after pipeline exports from the Kirkuk fields resumed for the first time since October last year.

November exports by the federal government of Iraq dropped by 106,000 b/d compared to October and were down by 211,000 b/d compared to August when they reached an all-time high of 3.583 million b/d.

The fall in exports is attributed to a dip in loadings from its southern terminals as five days of rough weather during the month affected berthing and loadings. On November 09, shipments of Basrah Heavy and Basrah Light were halted, according to shipping sources.

Loadings from Iraq's Khor Al-Amaya terminal continue to remain due to pipeline leaks and overall maintenance. Exports from this terminal have been suspended since the start of 2018.

Federal Iraq saw its first exports from Ceyhan since it was suspended unilaterally by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in June 2017. But the government of Iraq and the KRG agreed a tentative deal in mid-November under which the latter has given assurances that it will transfer all federal Iraqi crude to storage tanks operated by North Oil Company at Ceyhan for Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization to sell.

Shipping sources told S&P Global Platts the accumulated quantity in the SOMO tanks had now reached 600,000 barrels and this will be pumped to the Turkish refinery at Kirikkale through the pipeline linking it to the terminal.

Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad also said that Iraq obtained an average price of $61.10/b in November for its crude, $13.80/b lower than the October price. This brought November revenues down to $6.180 billion from $7.998 billion in October.

--Eklavya Gupte, eklavya.gupte@spglobal.com>

--Edited by Maurice Geller, maurice.geller@spglobal.com