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Iraq’s Kirkuk Refinery is Upgraded – Iran Signs Agreement with Iraq Regarding Crude Swap
Iraq’s oil ministry has added a new 13K b/d processing unit to the Kirkuk oil refinery, bringing its total capacity up to 56K b/d, newswires report.
Moreover, Iraq has agreed to swap up to 60K b/d of crude produced in the Northern Iraqi Kirkuk fields with Iranian crude, according to Reuters. The Iranian crude will be delivered to Iraqi southern ports. This will allow Iraq to resume sales of Kirkuk crude historically exported from northern regions via an export pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, which have been halted since mid-October when Iraqi forces took over the northern oil fields from Kurdish fighters. Iran has agreed to swap identical crude oil in terms of specifications and quantities, as those received from Kirkuk.
The move is reportedly part of Iraq’s efforts to increase exports from its Southern oilfields where about 70% of total Iraqi oil is produced, to mitigate the shortfall of exports from Northern Iraq.