Exports from Iraq's Kirkuk Oil Fields Resume

Exports from Iraq's northern Kirkuk oil fields to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in Turkey resumed Wednesday following a two-day outage caused by a "technical fault" in the key pipeline, a Middle East shipping agent and a person familiar with the matter said Thursday. 

"The flow resumed at 1800 local time (1500 GMT) Wednesday after two-day suspension," a shipping agent based in Ceyhan told Dow Jones Newswires. "They are pumping at 20,000 barrels an hour (or 480,000 barrels a day)," he said. 

Part of the pipeline in Iraq had a leak early Tuesday which led to a suspension in the flow of crude oil in the export pipeline from the Kirkuk oil fields to Ceyhan, a person familiar with the matter said. 

"The first vessel to load after the resumption of the flow will be today, in the afternoon," the shipping agent said. 

Tuesday's outage is the second in less than three weeks as the pipeline has suffered frequent attacks on both sides of the Turkey-Iraq border. 

Iraq normally exports an average of 300,000 to 350,000 barrels a day when flow isn't interrupted. In May, it exported a total of 273,000 barrels a day, compared with 292,000 barrels a day in April via the pipeline, according to figures released by the State Oil Marketing Organization.


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