LOS ANGELES, June 26 -- Iraq has sold 4 million bbl of Kirkuk crude to ExxonMobil Corp. and Turkish oil refiner Tupras from a tender for 6 million bbl. State oil marketer SOMO said each company would take 2 million bbl and that the remaining 2 million bbl remained unsold.
The oil sold to ExxonMobil was priced at West Texas Intermediate minus $8.15, while the 2 million sold to Tupras was priced at dated Brent minus $6.55.
The sold oil likely will be lifted during June 28-July 1. Iraqi oil officials said some 7.3 million bbl of Kirkuk crude is stored at Ceyhan, including the sold 4 million bbl.
The sale has raised hopes as Iraq looks to export around 200,000 b/d of Kirkuk oil through its June tender, boosting sales to 1.7 million b/d from around 1.5 million b/d since Marchall of it from southern fields.
Shamkhi Faraj, director-general of marketing and economics at Iraq's Ministry of Oil, said the sale to ExxonMobil and Tupras would boost the country's export average, but that it did not necessarily signal the start of a new era.
Continued acts of sabotage against Iraq's northern oil export pipeline system have kept exports from the north shut for most of this year and last year.
One official said Iraqi security forces have been working for some time to improve the flow of oil but that "there is no telling what will happen tomorrow."
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