Iraq’s southern oil exports rise to near record in November

Above, flames emerge from flare stacks at the oil fields in Kirkuk. The drop in Kirkuk output helped to boost Iraqi and overall compliance with the deal. (Reuters)
Updated 20 November 2017
0

Iraq’s southern oil exports rise to near record in November

LONDON: Oil exports from southern Iraq have risen by 150,000 barrels per day (bpd) this month to close to a record high, according to shipping data and an industry source, as OPEC’s second-largest producer seeks to offset a shortfall from the north.
Southern Iraqi exports in the first 20 days of November averaged about 3.50 million bpd, up 150,000 bpd from October, according to shipping data tracked by Reuters and independent tracking by an industry source.
The increase follows a decline in output in northern Iraq since mid-October, when Iraqi forces took back control of fields from Kurdish fighters. Iraq has said southern exports would rise to make up the shortfall, although some in the industry were skeptical this would be possible.
“It seems they managed to get there,” the industry source who tracks Iraq’s exports said.
The rise brings southern exports within a whisker of the record high of 3.51 million bpd seen in December 2016, the last month before an output cut agreement led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries took effect.
The increase this month, though, has not entirely offset the drop in shipments from the north.
Northern exports have averaged about 250,000 bpd so far in November, according to shipping data and the industry source, down from an estimated 450,000 bpd in October and levels of more than 500,000 bpd in earlier months this year.
The drop in supplies from Iraq comes as OPEC, Russia and other producers are cutting output by about 1.8 million bpd until March 2018 in an effort to get rid of a glut and support prices.
Iraq has adhered less to the supply deal with non-OPEC producers than OPEC peers such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but the drop in Kirkuk output helped to boost Iraqi and overall compliance with the deal.
The bulk of Iraq’s oil is exported via the southern terminals. Smaller amounts are shipped from the Kirkuk fields in northern Iraq via Ceyhan in Turkey.


‘There is no free lunch’, Macron tells tech giant CEOs

Updated 24 May 2018
0

‘There is no free lunch’, Macron tells tech giant CEOs

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron told executives from the world’s biggest technology firms on Wednesday that he wanted innovation to be a driving force for the French economy, but also that they needed to contribute more to society.
The French leader paints himself as a champion of France’s plugged-in youth and wants to transform France into a “startup nation” that draws higher investments into technology and artificial intelligence. He is also spearheading efforts in Europe to have digital companies pay more tax at source.
Macron’s guest-list included Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, IBM’s Virginia Rometty, Intel Corp’s Brian Krzanich, Microsoft Corp’s Satya Nadella and a raft of other big hitters in the corporate world.
“There is no free lunch,” he quipped in English to the executives lined up on the steps of the Elysee Palace for a photo call at a lunch meeting. “So I want from you some commitments.”
As Macron spoke, IBM announced it would hire about 1,400 people in France over the next two years in the fields of blockchain and cloud computing.
Ride-hailing app Uber also said it planned to offer all its European drivers an upgraded version of the health insurance it already provides in France in a drive to attract independent workers and fend off criticism over their treatment.
Macron will hold one-on-one talks with Mark Zuckerberg on tax and data privacy on the sidelines of the Tech For Good summit — a day after the Facebook chief executive faced questions from European Union lawmakers.
Those talks will be frank, an Elysee official said ahead of the meeting. While Macron will be pitching France Inc, he will also push his case for a European Union tax on digital turnover and a tougher fight against both data piracy and fake news.
Zuckerberg on Tuesday sailed through a grilling from EU lawmakers about the social network’s data policies, apologizing to leaders of the European Parliament for a massive data leak but dodging numerous questions.
Macron told the executives that business needed to do more in tackling issues such as inequality and climate change.
“It is not possible just to have free riding on one side, when you make a good business,” the French president said.