economy Since 2017-05-03 at 16:11 (Baghdad time)
Follow up - Mawazine News
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's crude oil exports have risen since January, despite falling crude oil production in line with OPEC's deal to cut production, industry sources said.
This could be a way of boosting the production of refined materials and preserving oil revenues.
Thomson's oil research data showed Iraq exported between 80 and 160,000 tonnes of fuel oil in 2016.
But quantities sold to Asia jumped this year and Iraqi oil fuel exports exceeded 500,000 tons in March alone, according to Reuters data.
And increased exports of high-quality fuel oil in an attempt to boost revenues under OPEC's cut production agreement, which was reluctantly approved by Iraq and said it would cut crude production by 210,000 bpd.
Five well-informed sources in the sector said Iraq had treated more oil in its refineries and turned it into fuel oil for export.
"The Iraqis are working to boost crude oil exports in an effort to compensate OPEC crude production cuts," said an official at an Iraq-based energy trading company.
Other commercial sources in the Middle East said Iraq was mixing high-quality fuel oil produced by crude or naphtha before exporting it.
The impact of rising exports to Singapore has been the main hub for Asian oil trading and storage. According to trade data compiled by Reuters, Iraq's crude imports reached 0.94 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2017, about double the volume of total exports of 2016, which amounted to 0.48 million tons.
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