Iraq’s total crude exports and oil receipts dipped by 7 per cent in September following the shutdown of the northern oil export pipeline and reduced production at the southern Rumaila oil field.

According to data released by the Oil Ministry, total exports in September reached 63.1 million barrels, down 7 per cent compared with 67.9 million in August.

With oil prices largely stable at over $104.9 a barrel for a second month, total oil receipts from exports of 2.10 million barrels a day (b/d) to the Gulf, the Mediterranean and Jordan dropped to $6.619bn, compared with $7.124bn in August.

Total revenue from oil exports for 2011 now stands at $62.4bn compared to $52.2bn in 2010.

Exports from the north of Iraq, through a pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, dropped to only 10.1 million barrels or 330,000 b/d from 14 million barrels or 476,000 b/d in August. Production in the northern Kurdish region, which usually accounts for as much as 150,000 b/d, dropped to 55,000 b/d.

The semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) halted oil exports on 11 September, blaming the drop in production on technical problems caused by state-owned North Oil Company, which operates the export pipeline (MEED 16:9:11).

About 53 million barrels were exported into the Gulf, down from 53.6 million barrels in August, after production in the south of the country was also briefly disrupted by a fire at a gas compression unit at Iraq’s largest oil field at Rumaila, being developed by UK oil major BP, along with China National Petroleum Corporation (MEED 22:9:11).