Iraq Gets Exemption From U.S. Sanctions on Iran's Energy Exports
(Bloomberg) -- Iraq will continue to have access to the energy it needs from Iran to generate and supply electricity, Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran at the U.S. State Department, said Monday on a media conference call.
“Iraq has been granted an exemption” to the energy sanctions the U.S. has reimposed on Iran, Hook said, without providing details.
Iraq is still importing natural gas and electricity from neighboring Iran and has set up a bank account to process payments in Iraqi dinars, according to two Iraqi government officials, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to media.
- U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy industry and exports took effect on Monday.
- Washington issued formal waivers to eight buyers of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue limited imports. Iraq did not receive a waiver.
- Iraq’s government is cooperating with the U.S. to contain Iranian influence in the country, and increased Iraqi oil production is helping to make up for Iranian crude that sanctions are blocking from markets, Hook said.
- Iraq, the second-biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, pumped last month at a record 4.78 million barrels a day, former Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said on Oct. 20. Iraq exported 3.83 million barrels a day last month, according to tanker tracking and data from port agents.
- Iraq has been working to restore production at its northern Kirkuk oil field. Kirkuk could add 200,000 barrels a day of oil to Iraq’s total output, Hook said.
- The country stopped trucking Kirkuk oil to Iran about three weeks ago, in line with U.S. sanctions, according to four people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because they aren’t allowed to speak to media.
- Oil exports from Iran, OPEC’s third-largest supplier, have slumped since President Donald Trump announced in May that he’d reimpose sanctions. Iran shipped about 1.76 million barrels a day in October out of 3.42 million in total production, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
- Benchmark Brent crude fell 47 cents to $72.70 a barrel in London trading at 7:26 a.m. local time. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was 25 cents lower at $62.85 a barrel in New York. WTI held near the lowest level in seven months as concerns of a tightening market eased after the U.S. granted its waivers to buyers of Iranian crude.
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