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Iraq oil exports to be cut by 0.5m bpd in Sept

Crude oil exports from Iraq will be cut by between 400,000 and 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September due to rehabilitation and maintenance work on the country's southern ports, an oil official told Reuters on Thursday.

The official said a third offshore terminal would be installed as well as a metering station, and that the rehabilitation will boost export capacity from Iraq's southern ports by 900,000 bpd.

"We decided to start rehabilitation works and maintenance of the southern oil ports and offshore terminals in September and that will cut exports by 400,000-500,000 bpd," said the senior South Oil Company official, who declined to be named.

Iraq's oil exports fell to 2.328 million bpd in June from 2.484 million bpd in May due to a slowdown in Kirkuk oil shipments after repeated pipeline leakages and bad weather disrupted exports in the south.

According to oil shipping figures tracked by Reuters, Iraq's oil exports have fallen this month to 2.27 million bpd, a fifth below the government's target of 2.9 million bpd this year.

Iraq, which has the world's fourth largest oil reserves, has ambitious plans to increase oil exports to as much as 6 million bpd after decades of sanctions and war.

Exports reached 2.62 million bpd last November, the highest level in decades, but progress has since been reversed. – Reuters