Iraq Plans to Trim Basra Crude Exports in November 2016

Source: Reuters 10/11/2016, Location: Middle East

Iraq plans to trim crude oil exports from its southern ports to 3.24 million barrels per day (bpd) in November from 3.28 million bpd planned for the previous month, two trade sources said.

Basra Light crude exports in November are expected to fall by 260,000 bpd to 2.34 million bpd, they said, citing a preliminary loading programme from Iraq's Oil Marketing Co (SOMO).

South Oil Co. (SOC), the state oil company that manages Iraq's oil industry in the southern region, denied any plans to cut November shipments.

"We have no plans to trim Basra exports in November," SOC head Hayan Abdulghani Abdulzahra told Reuters. "Oil shipments are steady and going on normally according to the oil ministry plan," SOC head Hayan Abdulghani Abdulzahra told Reuters.

November exports of Basra Heavy crude are set to rise by 223,000 bpd to 900,000 bpd. The drop in Basra Light supplies in November could support the grade's spot premiums, one source said, offsetting a smaller than expected cut in the grade's official selling price in the same month.

The rise in November Basra Heavy supplies, on the other hand, could cap the grade's premiums although it remained to be seen if term lifters would re-sell their cargoes, he said. Basra Light cargoes for October loading were trading at 20 cents to 40 cents a barrel above its OSP.

Premiums for October-loading Basra Heavy rose as high as $1.10 to $1.30 a barrel to its OSP after SOMO cut supplies, the sources said.

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