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Iraqi May oil exports jump but output steady at 4.36 mil b/d: SOMO


KRG flows rise to 313,000 b/d in May

Domestic consumptions down sharply to 557,000 b/d

London — Iraqi oil exports in May rose by 167,000 b/d to 3.803 million b/d as flows from the Persian Gulf terminals and the Kurdistan region edged higher, the country's State Oil Marketing Organization said Monday.

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But despite a rise in exports, May crude oil production remained stable at 4.36 million b/d, as domestic consumption fell sharply, SOMO said in a document sent to S&P Global Platts.

The country's oil ministry said last week federal crude oil exports in May from Iraq's southern Persian Gulf terminals had risen 156,000 b/d from April to 3.490 million b/d.

Exports from these terminals in April were at their lowest since at least January 2017 due to bad weather and repairs to the SPM, according to S&P Global Platts estimates.

This latest data implies that exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government, which are moved via pipeline to Ceyhan in Turkey, were at 313,000 b/d in May compared with 302,000 b/d in April.

SOMO's May production figure puts total domestic consumption, for power generation and refining, at 557,000 b/d, compared with 724,000 b/d and 581,000 b/d in April and March respectively.

Federal crude oil exports from the southern Persian Gulf terminals have risen sharply since federal Iraqi forces captured two key Kirkuk fields in mid-October, with the OPEC member diverting more oil from this region as export flows from the disputed fields in Kurdistan remain shut in.

Iraqi oil production has remained stable at 4.36 million b/d from September onwards to May apart from December when it was 4.362 million b/d, according to ministry data.

Analysts have regularly voiced doubts about Iraq's recent official data, especially since production of almost 280,000 b/d from the fields of Bai Hasan and Avana Dome has been shut in since October 16.

But since mid-March, Iraq resumed production at the disputed Kirkuk fields of Bai Hassan field and the Avana Dome, with a combined output of around 50,000 b/d, sources said.

Iraq's compliance with the output restriction deal has been an ongoing issue for the producer group.

Iraq increased output by 50,000 b/d to 4.47 million b/d in May, according to latest Platts OPEC Survey data.

OPEC's second largest oil producer has consistently been a back-slider on OPEC compliance. It has exceeded its target by the most in OPEC -- about 78,000 b/d since the deal began -- with its compliance level just 63%.

Under the OPEC cut agreement, which began January 1, 2017, and has now been extended through to the end of 2018, Iraq was given a ceiling of 4.351 million b/d.

--Eklavya Gupte,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,