Iraq reconfigures Gulf terminal to boost exports of Basrah Medium crude: sources

Strong points

SOMO can now export up to 1.8 mil b / d Basrah Medium

Grade has become the most popular in Iraq, especially in Asia

OPEC + quota increase will allow Iraq to ship more crude

Iraq has converted nearly half of its export capacity at its southern terminal on the Gulf Coast to load its Basrah Medium crude, sources from the National Petroleum Marketing Organization and the Basrah Oil Company said. , allowing the country to increase shipments of this increasingly popular quality.

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Iraq is now able to load up to nearly 1.8 million bpd of Basrah Medium from its fixed jetties at the Al-Basrah oil terminal, moving Basrah Light exports to four mooring points unique with Basrah Heavy.

SOMO exported 1.1 million bpd of quality in August, according to official data, and plans a significant increase in loadings, especially as Iraq’s production quota under the agreement OPEC + supply continues to increase.

SOMO introduced the Basrah Medium grade in January to address quality issues with the country’s largest crude stream, Basrah Light, from the heavier crude Meessan, Halfaya and West Qurna II deposits coming online. This decision essentially halved the volume of crude marketed under the name Basrah Light.

Basrah Medium is now SOMO’s most popular export grade, especially in Asia, overtaking shipments from Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy, Deputy Managing Director Ali al-Shatari told S&P Global Platts on September 1.

Almost 80% of Basrah Medium’s exports are shipped to Asia, with China taking more than half and India taking up a quarter, he added.

“Demand [for Basrah Medium] is increasing in terms of variety of customers in Europe, but demand is increasing in terms of variety and quantity in Asia, ”Shatari said.

The grade has a specific gravity of around 27.9 API with a sulfur content of 3%, which makes it very similar in quality to Saudi Heavy from Saudi Arabia, which has a specific gravity of 27.8 API and 2 , 75% sulfur.

Work on the conversion of the fixed jetties began on August 28, according to a report on the condition of the terminal seen by Platts.

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