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KRG reinjects Shaikan crude to Kirkuk export blend

07 Dec 2017 15:36 GMT
KRG reinjects Shaikan crude to Kirkuk export blend

London, 7 December (Argus) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has been pumping volumes of heavy sour Shaikan crude through the Iraq-Ceyhan pipeline for the past two weeks.

Not all of the production from the Gulf Keystone-operated 35,000 b/d Shaikan field is currently being sent to Ceyhan. Gulf Keystone declined to comment.

Heavy Shaikan crude was excluded from the pipeline in February because of concerns over the quality of the Kirkuk export blend. Shaikan crude has been delivered by truck to facilities at Turkey's Delta Rubis terminal in Dortyol, from where shipments by sea restarted in March.

Seaborne exports of Shaikan crude dropped to 18,300 b/d last month and averaged at nearly 25,000 b/d between March-November.

The reinjection of Shaikan crude into the Kirkuk export blend is likely a measure to supplement Kirkuk export flows. A political conflict between Iraq's central administration and Erbil saw Baghdad halt output at the Bai Hassan and Avanah fields it seized in October, rather than feed their production through the pipeline. Ceyhan exports of Kirkuk crude dropped by 29pc on the month to 278,000 b/d in November, to the lowest since the 210,000 b/d of May 2015.