Iraq through its State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) released a note to its customers indicating the test results for Basrah Light, Basrah Medium and Basrah Heavy. These will be the new specifications that the oil producing nation will be using in the coming year which includes its new grade Basrah Medium.
Basrah Medium is highly similar to Saudi Arabia's Arab Medium. Arab Medium has an API of 27.8 and sulfur content of 2.75% while Basrah Medium has an API of 27.9 and sulfur content of 3.00%.
Crudes with similar specs are the Iranian Heavy, Brazil's Metro, Russia's Urals and Oman crude.
Along with the introduction of the new crude grade, Iraq has also made some changes on its two existing grades. The Basrah light, which is their flagship crude, will now have an API of 31.40 and sulfur content of 2.74% from the previous API of 34 degrees. The heavy sour crude, Basrah Heavy, will now have an API of 24 and 4.05% sulfur from a previous API degree of 26.
Notification for these changes have been released by SOMO back in Nov. 2. SOMO indicated that the reason for the changes is to support the stability of each grade and minimize the range of variation in the API for each grade.
Both Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy have averaged around 2.20 million and 800,000 barrels per day in exports respectively.