• Iraq launches sales of new grade of heavy crude from southern oil fields
  • Introduction is aimed at boosting sales
  • First shipments left Basra in early June

Iraq has launched sales of a new grade of heavy crude from its southern oilfields that will enable it to boost exports, according to the Oil Ministry.

The country had shut in some production of heavier grades of oil to maintain the quality of its light crude oil, but will now market it as a separate product.

“Exporting two different grades of oil is the latest challenge… In addition to Basra Light crude we have launched a new grade called Basra Heavy,” said Falah Alamri, director-general of the Oil Minister’s Oil Marketing Company (Somo).

“Shipments of Basra Heavy have left our Basra terminal in early June. The two grades will be more competitive in international market than with one grade of fluctuating quality. This system will result in increasing crude exports,” he added, speaking at the Iraq Petroleum conference in London 9 June.

Gati al-Jebouri, senior vice-president at Russia’s Lukoiloverseas, said the launch of the Basra Heavy grade had allowed the company to increase exports.

“Today, after introduction of Basra Heavy, curtailment of production no longer exists and we are producing just over 400,000 b/d,” said Al-Jebouri.

Lukoil is the operator of the West Qurna-2 oil field development in Basra province.

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