Oil prices inch up, drop in southern Iraq exports supports

Ahmad Al-Rubaye | AFP | Getty Images

An employee walks past oil barrels at the Bai Hassan oil field, west of the multi-ethnic northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, on October 19, 2017.

Oil prices inched up on Tuesday, supported by declining exports from southern Iraq.

Oil exports from southern Iraq have fallen by 110,000 barrels per day this month, according to shipping data and an industry source, adding to the drop in flows caused by a shortfall from the northern Kirkuk fields when Iraqi forces retook control from Kurdish fighters who had been there since 2014.

The drop in northern Iraqi shipments has supported global oil prices in recent days. But southern exports, the outlet for most of the country's crude, have been stable in recent months, making the decline unexpected.

London Brent crude for December delivery was up 6 cents at $57.43 a barrel by 0055 GMT after settling down 38 cents on Monday.

U.S. crude for December delivery was up 3 cents at $51.93, having settled up 6 cents.

Crude oil exports through the Iraqi Kurdistan controlled-pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan rose 13 percent to 288,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Monday afternoon, less than half the normal levels, a shipping source told Reuters.

U.S. crude inventories likely fell by 2.5 million barrels last week, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles also probably fell by at least 1.5 million barrels, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of data by the Industry group the American Petroleum Institute later in the day.

CNBC

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks