Iraqi oil flows resume to Turkey, Azeri exports still stopped
By Julia Payne, Rowena Edwards and Nailia Bagirova
(Reuters) -The Iraqi crude pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan oil export hub resumed flows on Tuesday evening while a tanker docked to load crude, the first since a series of earthquakes on Monday, ship tracking showed and industry sources said.
Bad weather earlier in the day had prevented loading. A massive earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria early on Monday had halted operations at Ceyhan and stopped key crude oil flows from Iraq and Azerbaijan.
The Vallesina was shown at a jetty at the Botas Ceyhan terminal on Tuesday evening local time, based on Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking. A trading source said the vessel was given the all clear to load Iraqi oil from storage.
The ministry of natural resources for Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said the pipeline restarted flows at 9:45 p.m. local time (1845 GMT).
While Iraqi crude flows and exports have resumed, exports of Azeri crude were still stopped. The Azeri BTC pipeline was however still working and sending oil to storage in Ceyhan, two sources said.
Oil production at the BP-led Azeri–Chirag–Gunashli project in Azerbaijan continues as a result, the sources said.
The Alfa Baltica and the Nordlotus tankers were waiting in the area for the Azeri crude BTC terminal at Ceyhan to reopen.
The BTC terminal is not expected to resume until Feb. 8 or 9, according to shipping and trading sources, as damage at the terminal was being assessed. A shipping agent said the control room at the terminal had been damaged.
(Reporting by Rowena Edwards and Julia Payne in London, Nailia Bagirova in Baku; editing by Louise Heavens and Jonathan Oatis)