Iraqi crude oil exports were
flowing again at the Turkish port of Ceyhan, where the second vessel this year was finishing lifting and three new cargoes were expected to turn up soon, industry sources said. The sources said the Marina M, which recently replaced the earlier chartered Seadancer, has just about finished lifting one million barrels of Kirkuk crude and the two million barrel Amazon Falcon is already berthed and waiting. Three new vessels are also expected before month's end, with the one-million-barrel Crudesky due to arrive on January 27, and two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) -- the Orient Tiger and the Front Champion -- seen on the 28th and 29th, the sources said.
Iraq's state oil marketing organization (SOMO) has listed the three new tankers as expected, but has not issued final approval for them to load. The United Nations
, which oversees Iraq's exports, has also not yet approved them. The pipeline that carries Iraqi oil through Turkey to the port was also pumping, but at a reduced rate, they said.
Oil exports from Ceyhan resumed last Sunday with the loading of the Super Lady -- the first ship to load this year and only the second to lift since Baghdad began demanding an illegal surcharge paid into a non-U.N. account at the end of November.
Loadings at Iraq's Gulf port of Mina al-Bakr, its only other U.N.-approved export point under the oil-for-food program, continued smoothly, the sources said. Iraqi oil exports in the week ended January 19 totaled 814,000 bpd, according to the United Nations. Before Baghdad implemented its surcharge demand, supplies had been running at around 2.3 million bpd.