Ali Nazar Faeq Al-Shatari, head of the crude oil and gas marketing division at SOMO has revealed that the state oil company is exploring the possibility of acquiring oil storage tanks in Asia and is open to discussions on more profit-sharing agreements as it seeks to expand its foothold in the region.
Speaking at the Argus Crude Forum, Al-Shatari commented "We're looking forward to acquire storage tanks, to acquire facilities in the major market for us which is Asia,"
"So any other profit-sharing agreement or deal, that may serve these purposes, we may study it," he said, adding that any new deals would not result in a conflict of interest between existing deals..
SOMO has already formed a joint venture with Litasco, the trading arm of Lukoil, and has also began supplying Basra crude to Chinese partner Zhenhua Oil with a joint venture expected shortly.
Iraq, OPEC's second largest producer, is currently exporting close to 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from its southern oilfields, with OPEC and other producing nations looking to increase output in order to replace supply shortfalls from Iran and Venezuela.
When asked if SOMO plans to switch the benchmark price for its term crude sales to Asia partly to DME Oman futures, in line with Saudi Aramco, Shatari said the company was still exploring its options
A shipment of Basra Light has also been delivered to Malaysia as a trial for a new joint-venture refinery between Petronas and Saudi Aramco.
Shatari revealed the cargo came from Petronas' term contract with SOMO, with any increase in Iraqi supplies for the new refinery depending on Petronas' deal with Aramco.