Iraqi oil exports from
the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, Turkey, remained off line on Tuesday as three vessels slated
to arrive at the weekend were still unseen, industry sources said. Three tankers had been nominated by Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) for arrival Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but the port has been idle since the two-million-barrel Amazon Falcon sailed on Saturday, the sources said.
Some sources said the Orient Tiger and Front Champion -- both very large crude carriers
(VLCCs) -- could potentially arrive the next day or two, but others noted that no formal estimated time of arrival (ETA) had been supplied. The Crudesky, a SuezMax, was expected later as it sailed from Novorossiisk only on January 22. None of the ships have letters of credit (LCs) attached or United Nations papers, the sources noted. Oil traders say the cargoes appear not to have been sold yet to end-users.
The sources said the pipeline that supplies oil to Ceyhan from Iraq was still pumping, but at a reduced rate.
Lifting of Iraqi crude out of Ceyhan resumed just over a week ago with the Super Lady, the first ship to load this year and only the second vessel to lift crude since late November, when Baghdad began demanding lifters pay an illegal surcharge. Three cargoes of Kirkuk crude have been lifted this year.
Exports of Basrah Light continued to run fairly smoothly from Iraq's Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr, the sources said. - (Reuters)