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Fuel Shortages Exacerbate Oil Smuggling in Iraq


Oil smuggling in Iraq from stealth drilling, and pipeline theft is estimated at about 60kbbl/d according to University of Dallas associate professor Ali Dadpay and is exacerbated by local fuel shortages.

  • Total Iraq crude oil production in October was estimated at 4.58mb/d according to the latest Platts survey.
  • The theft equates to approximately $1.4 billion in lost annual revenues based on a traded discount of about $20/bbl to Platts Dated Brent.
  • Most illicit traded volumes involve refined products due to industrial fuel subsidies and consumers market prices. Iraq produces about 40k mt/d of fuel oil, of which about 26k mt/d is supplied to local power stations, cement factories and other local customers at a subsidised price of around $200/mt, compared to the recent Platts assessment of $326.61/mt.
  • Iraq has to import gasoline and diesel to meet local demand, and the power sector has been reliant on Iran for supplies of gas and electricity.

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