Iraq lifts oil output at Eni’s Zubair field

Zubair’s production capacity will rise gradually to 625,000 bpd by the end of the year, as three additional processing facilities are added. (Reuters)
Updated 09 May 2018
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Iraq lifts oil output at Eni’s Zubair field

  • Production rose after the completion of a new oil processing facility.
  • Country is also seeking to lift its refining capacity to become self-sufficient in oil products.

ZUBAIR: Iraq has lifted oil production at Eni’s Zubair field in the south by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 475,000 bpd, an Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday.
Production rose after the completion of a new oil processing facility, Muhaned Abbas Kojer, the capacity expansion project director, told Reuters on the sidelines of a ceremony to launch the new installations in Al-Zubair, south of Basra.
Zubair’s production capacity will rise gradually to 625,000 bpd by the end of the year, as three additional processing facilities are added, and further expansions will take its capacity to its 850,000 bpd target by 2020, Abbas said.
The field should produce 140 million cubic feet per day of gas by the end of the year, he added.
Iraq, the second-largest crude oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries after Saudi Arabia, has an oil production capacity of nearly 5 million bpd.
Crude output is kept at about 4.45 million bpd, in line with a deal between OPEC and some other non-OPEC producers to curb production in order to bolster crude prices.
The country is also seeking to lift its refining capacity to become self-sufficient in oil products.
The oil ministry has asked investors for bids by June 14 to build a 100,000 bpd refinery in Kut, south of Baghdad.
Iraq’s refining capacity was curbed when Daesh overran its largest oil processing plant in Baiji, north of Baghdad, in 2014.
Iraqi forces recaptured Baiji in 2015 but it sustained heavy damage in the fighting. The country now relies on the Doura refinery in Baghdad and the Shuaiba plant in the Basra region.


South Korea imports no Iran oil in November despite sanctions waiver

Updated 16 December 2018
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South Korea imports no Iran oil in November despite sanctions waiver

SEOUL: South Korea did not import any Iranian oil for the third straight month in November, customs data showed on Saturday, even though it has a waiver from sanctions targeting crude supplies from the Middle Eastern country.
South Korea and seven other countries were in early November granted temporary waivers from US sanctions that kicked in that month over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
But it kept imports at zero as buyers have been in talks with Iran over new contracts, with industry sources previously saying they expected arrivals to resume in late January or February.
With no Iranian cargoes arriving for three months, South Korea’s imports of oil from the nation were down 57.9 percent at 7.15 million tons in January-November, or 157,009 barrels per day (bpd), the customs data showed. That compares to nearly 17 million tons in the same period in 2017.
South Korea is usually one of Iran’s major Asian customers. Although the exact volumes it has been allowed to import under the waiver have not been disclosed, sources with knowledge of the matter say it can buy up to 200,000 bpd, mostly condensate.
Condensate is an ultra light oil used to make fuels such as naphtha and gasoline.
But as Iranian condensate supply has been limited due to the sanctions and rising domestic demand in Iran, South Korean buyers have been looking for alternatives from places such as Qatar.
In total, South Korea imported 12.71 million tons of crude oil in November, up 1.2 percent from 12.59 million tons a year earlier, according to the data.
South Korea’s crude oil imports from January to November inched up 0.6 percent from the year before to 131.23 million tons.
Final data on November crude oil imports is due later this month from state-run Korea National Oil Corp. (KNOC).