Oil prices slip after Iraq resumes exports
Oil prices dipped on Tuesday, July 10, after Iraq started pumping oil again after a five-week break that has deprived world markets of over two million barrels of crude a day.
Benchmark Brent North Sea crude for August delivery eased to $25.88 a barrel from $26.15 on Monday evening. New York light sweet crude August futures fell 24 cents to $27.35 a barrel.
“The market has fallen on the back of the Iraqis starting to pump their oil again," said ABN Amro broker Terry Wilson. Iraq started pumping oil to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on Tuesday and was poised to start exports through its Gulf terminal at Mina al-Bakr, oil sources said.
Iraq resumed exports after the United States and Britain abandoned efforts to impose new so-called sanctions against Baghdad. "The flow began at 0952 GMT," Gokhan Yardim, head of Turkey's oil and gas company, told AFP in Ankara. Yardim said that four ships were waiting at Ceyhan to load crude once the storage tanks were filled, though he could not give a date for the start of the loading.
The Turkish energy ministry said in a statement that 5,000 cubic meters of oil per hour was flowing through the 986-kilometer (616-mile) pipeline, which has an annual capacity of 71 million tons.
An industry source at Iraq's Gulf terminal at Mina al-Bakr, meanwhile, told AFP in Baghdad that "exports will resume within hours. Preparations are underway to start loading the first tanker," a Greek-flagged ship.
"Other tankers are awaited," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The market was also anxiously awaiting the weekly stock figures from the private American Petroleum Institute (API) published after the close of trade every Tuesday.
After last week's surprise fall in US inventories, traders were keen to see if the decline was merely a blip, or whether the Iraqi export halt was beginning to bite into stocks.
Traders were expecting a fall in crude inventories of 2.75 million barrels and a rise in gasoline stocks of 1.65 million barrels, GNI brokerage analyst Lawrence Eagles said.
The OPEC basket price of seven crudes worldwide fell to $24.72 a barrel on Monday, from the cartel's target of $25 on Friday, the official OPECNA agency reported. — (AFP)
© Agence France Presse
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)