Iraq’s June crude exports slipped from from the highest level since December amid decreased outflows from both southern and northern fields.
Ships hauling 113 million barrels of Iraqi crude sailed from ports in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea in June, according to data from port agents and tracking tracking. That works out at about 3.77 million barrels a day, or 4 percent lower than May.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, in May agreed to extend production cuts through March to help mop up a glut of crude in the market. Oil is trading at less than $50 a barrel, less than half where prices were three years ago, wreaking financial havoc on the budgets of exporters like Iraq.
The nation shipped 3.91 million barrels a day in October, the month OPEC used as its baseline for those production cuts. The cuts will help will re-balance the market, Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said in London Monday.
The country aims to reach production capacity of 5 million barrels a day by the end of the year, he said. Iraq pumped 4.45 million barrels a day in May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was to cut its output to 4.351 million barrels a day under the cuts deal.
Iraq has boosted sales to the U.S. this year, delivering 811,000 barrels a day in April, the most since February 2003, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Ten vessels carrying 16 million barrels of crude left Iraq for the U.S. last month, compared with 11 tankers carrying 19 million barrels in May and 10 tankers carrying 17 million barrels of crude in April.
The semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq appeared to be shipping its first cargo for three years to the U.S., before the vessel reversed course, according to ship tracking data. As the tanker Neverland approached the coast of New England and Nova Scotia, Iraq’s federal government asked U.S. and Canadian authorities to block the shipment, a person familiar with the matter said last week.