Bad weather halts Iraqi oil exports

22 October 2012, Sweetcrude, TEHRAN – BAD weather has hit Iraqi offshore, completely halting oil exports from Iraq’s southern oilfields.

Reuters report indicated, Monday, that rough seas have prevented tankers from reaching port, and the situation might continue Tuesday.

“Because of bad weather oil exports have been completely stopped. Tankers cannot reach port because of rough seas and they are concerned about accidents,” Reuters quoted an Iraqi port official as saying.

Reuters cited two other unnamed port sources as confirming the development. Iraq, a member of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, 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.

Crude exports from the country’s southern oilfields through Basra port were 1.656 million barrels per day before the stoppage, Reuters cited the officials as saying.

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.

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