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Iraq Revamps Basrah Terminal to Prepare for Higher Basra Medium Sales

Basrah terminal is being rebuilt to dedicate more capacity to Basrah Medium in anticipation of its increase in exports for the rest of the year.

Iraq anticipates exports of Basrah Medium to increase for the rest of the year with operations at the Basrah terminal being revamped to dedicate more capacity to the recently produced crude grade. This was stated last week by Ali al-Shatari, deputy director-general of the State Oil Marketing Organization.

The state-owned Basrah Oil Company is renovating its oil terminal in Basrah, which has four loading arms for crude, to accept Basrah Medium instead of Basrah Light. Shatari told S&P Global Platts that Basrah Light will be loaded from the single-point mooring (SPM) that was previously utilized for Basrah Medium.

According to Shatari, Basrah Oil Co. which is in charge of oil terminals in the south is conducting some rehabilitation work to boost export capacity to the highest extent in order to meet the expected rise under the OPEC+ agreement.

SOMO launched the Basrah Medium grade in January to solve quality difficulties with the country's largest oil stream, Basrah Light, as a result of the addition of heavier crude resources. The change effectively slashed in half the volume of crude sold as Basrah Light.

Ever since its launch Basrah Medium has been proven to be popular with customers. According to SOMO figures, shipments of the grade averaged 998,800 barrels per day (bpd) in July up by 1.4 percent from the previous month.

With its success, Basrah Medium has surpassed exports of Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy as SOMO's most popular export grade notably in Asia according to Shatari. He also added that the demand for Basrah Medium is increasing in terms of the variety of customers in Europe but the demand is increasing in terms of variety and quantity in Asia.

Currently, approximately 80% of Basrah Medium exports are sent to the east with China accounting for more than half and India for up to a quarter.

The grade has a specific gravity of roughly 27.9 API and a sulfur level of 3% making it extremely comparable in quality to Saudi Arabia's Arab Heavy which has a gravity of 27.8 API and sulfur content of 2.75%.

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