Iraq increases oil exports in July, pumps above OPEC+ target

© Reuters. A general view of the gas field in Basra

By Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) – Iraq’s exports have increased so far in July, shipping data showed and industry sources said, suggesting OPEC’s second-largest producer is still undershooting its production cut target under an OPEC-led deal.

Exports from Basra and other southern Iraq terminals to July 29 averaged 2.75 million bpd, based on figures from Refinitiv Eikon and an industry source. That is up 50,000 bpd from June’s official figure for southern Iraq exports.

“No massive change, Basra is still 2.7-2.8 million bpd,” the industry source said, referring to the change in exports seen since the first 20 days of July.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries andallies, known as OPEC+, began a record supply cut in May tobolster oil prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis. Iraq iscutting output by 1.06 million bpd under the deal.

The July figures imply Iraq is still some way fromfulfilling its pledges and is exporting far more than a Julyloading programme indicated.

Iraq says it is committed to the OPEC+ agreement and will boost compliance. Iraq had told OPEC+ it would make up for over-production in May and June through larger cuts in later months.

The south is the main outlet for Iraq’s crude, so a goodpart of its OPEC+ cut should show up in lower exports.

Baghdad was reluctant to join previous OPEC-led supply cutefforts that began in 2017. Iraq has said it is in the country’s interest to comply with the current deal.

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However, exports from northern Iraq have increased in July,tanker data showed and the industry source said. So far,northern exports are at least 400,000 bpd, whichwould be up from 370,000 bpd in June.

The boost in northern shipments means Iraq’s exports are upby 80,000 bpd in July.

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