Iraq lowers June oil exports, still pumps above OPEC+ target

LONDON - Iraq’s oil exports have fallen by almost 9% or 310,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June, loading data and industry sources showed, suggesting OPEC’s second-largest producer has delivered about three-fifths of its pledge in an OPEC-led supply cut deal.

Southern Iraqi exports in the first 28 days of June averaged 2.90 million bpd, tanker tracker Petro-Logistics, Refinitiv Eikon and an industry source found. That is down 200,000 bpd from May’s official southern exports figure.

“This is the lowest level of Basra exports in five years,” Daniel Gerber, chief executive of Petro-Logistics, told Reuters. “But Iraq still needs to cut by a further 300,000 bpd to achieve full compliance.”

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries andallies, known as OPEC+, began a record supply-cutting deal inMay to bolster oil prices hammered by the coronavirus crisis.Iraq is cutting output by 1.06 million bpd under the deal.

The June figures imply Iraq is making progress, but has yet to fulfil its pledge completely. Iraq has told OPEC+ it will make up for over-production in May and June through larger cuts in later months.

In May, Iraq delivered 38% of its pledged cut, a Reuters survey found, much lower than top exporter Saudi Arabia. If exports in June hold steady, adherence has risen to 60%, based on Reuters calculations. [OPEC/O]

“Down yes, but not anywhere near the quota,” the industry source said of Iraq’s June exports.

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

Iraq says it is in the country’s interest to comply with this deal. Baghdad was reluctant to join previous OPEC-led supply cut efforts that began in 2017, and was at times OPEC’s least compliant member.

Exports from northern Iraq have also fallen inJune. So far, total northern exports are about 370,000 bpd,down about 110,000 bpd from May, tanker data shows.

This would be in line with Iraq’s request to Kurdishauthorities to export a maximum of 370,000 bpd in June.

Reporting by Alex Lawler; Editing by Barbara Lewis