Jordan resumes oil imports from Iraq after brief halt

Flows from Iraq account for nearly 7 per cent of Jordan's 142,000 bpd of imports

The Iraqi city of Ramadi on the road from Iraq to Jordan. AFP
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Jordan has resumed importing about 10,000 barrels per day of crude oil from Iraq, the Jordanian energy minister said on Monday, after a several-week halt.

"Loading has started from a new location," Saleh Al Kharabsheh said in a statement.

He was referring to a loading site in Kirkuk, instead of a previous site in Baiji.

Jordanian official media said logistical problems had forced the halt of the oil flows.

Iraq agreed in 2006 to export 10,000 bpd of oil to Jordan, the first exports to the kingdom since the US-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The 10,000 barrels comprise nearly 7 per cent of Jordanian oil imports of 142,000 bpd. Most of Jordan's crude needs are supplied by lorry from Saudi Arabia.

Flows from Iraq have been frequently interrupted, either because of political differences, price changes or transport problems.

Jordan says it buys Iraqi oil at a $16 discount to Brent, partly because the imports are of lower quality.

Oil prices, which rose more than 67 per cent last year amid a faster-than-expected economic rebound, have been volatile this year, rocked by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and growing concerns about a global economic slowdown.

Brent, the benchmark for two thirds of the world’s oil, was down 0.96 per cent at $90.47 a barrel at 6.18pm UAE time, while West Texas Intermediate, the gauge that tracks US crude, was trading 1.09 per cent lower at $84.18 a barrel.

Iraq, Opec’s second-largest producer, depends on oil revenue to meet 90 per cent of government expenditure.

The country exports an average of 3.3 million barrels of oil per day, while production in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region amounts to a little more than 450,000 bpd.

Iraq is aiming to boost its total production to 8 million bpd by 2027, from about 4.5 million bpd currently.

Last month, the country announced the discovery of several new oil wells in the province of Anbar, in the west of the country.

Updated: September 19, 2022, 3:13 PM