Total Iraqi crude oil exports were close to 3.5 million barrels per day in January, based on the latest monthly data from a state marketing company.
The Iraqi Oil Ministry reported total exports for January at 108 million barrels, which would be around 3.49 million barrels per day assuming exports occurred every day of the month.
Asim Jihad, a ministry spokesman, said the total export data did not include figures from the north through Turkey. Total statistics were based on data from the State Organization for Marketing of Oil.
Most of the crude oil from northern Iraq moves by truck and through a pipeline from territory controlled officially by the Kurdish government to Ceyhan. A second pipeline runs north from Kirkuk, though the ministry spokesman said it was damaged so badly by Islamic State militants that parts of it would need to be rebuilt.
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Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi reviewed bilateral relations in the oil and gas sector with Turkish officials and discussed "the case of restarting the oil exports through the Turkish port of Ceyhan," the ministry said.
Last year, the ministry gave the order to "concerned companies and authorities" to prepare documents related to the reconstruction of the pipeline meant to carry crude oil from Kirkuk to the Turkish sea port at Ceyhan.
By January, British energy company BP had signed a memorandum of understanding to overhaul fields in Kirkuk, but has been relatively mum on whether or not reconstruction extends to pipeline work.
Iraq is party to an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to balance an oversupplied market with production cuts, but its compliance has wavered. Secondary sources reporting to OPEC economists said total production in January was 4.4 million barrels per day on average, an increase of 33,000 barrels per day from December.
The ministry spokesperson said Iraq realized an average price of $62.59 for a barrel of its oil in January. The average price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was $66.35 per barrel for January.
The spread, or difference, between Brent and West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, was around $3.50 per barrel early Tuesday.
By Daniel J. Graeber
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