Bad weather halts Iraq southern oil exports
Baghdad, October 21, 2012
Bad weather offshore has completely halted oil exports from Iraq's southern oilfields, with rough seas preventing tankers reaching port, and the stoppage may continue through Tuesday, Iraq oil port sources said on Sunday.
Opec member Iraq ships most of its oil through the south, where it has recently opened new export outlets. A rise in Iraqi exports has helped offset the impact on global oil prices from Western sanctions on Iran's crude exports.
"Because of bad weather oil exports have been completely stopped... Tankers cannot reach port because of rough seas and they are concerned about accidents," one Iraqi port official told Reuters. Two other port sources confirmed the halt.
Crude exports from the country's southern oilfields through Basra port were 1.656 million barrels per day (bpd) before the stoppage, the officials said.
Exports from the south have risen by 120,000 bpd in October from last month, bringing the country on course to reach its highest export rate in decades. Crude shipments averaged 2.3 million bpd in the first 18 days of this month. – Reuters