EconSource: Iraq Cancels Kirkuk Crude Cargoes as Kurds Boost Sales

Iraq has canceled all Kirkuk crude loadings to the Turkish port of Ceyhan due to a lack of oil, while the autonomous region of Kurdistan has ramped up of independent oil sales. Kurdistan boosted independent sales in June while cutting allocations to Iraq’s state oil marketing organization (SOMO) in a dispute over export rights and budget payments. Companies including Eni, Socar, Repsol, and BP have canceled cargoes, according to shipping lists. SOMO did not comment officially, but an oil source in Baghdad said he hoped exports could restart soon. Kurdistan has sold at least 12 million barrels of oil from Ceyhan since mid-June. [Reuters, 7/7/2015]

Syria’s parliament approves deal for Iranian credit
Syria’s parliament on Tuesday approved a deal with Iran for a new line of credit worth $1 billion. The credit line will be the third that Tehran has extended to Damascus since the conflict in Syria erupted in March 2011. The official state news agency SANA said the credit would be used for “importing merchandise and carrying out projects.” Further details were not provided. In 2013, Tehran extended two lines of credit to Damascus worth a total of $4.6 billion, much of which was devoted to purchasing oil. [AFP, 7/7/2015]

Libya lifts force majeure at Ras Lanuf oil terminal
Libya has lifted force majeure at its Ras Lanuf oil terminal, however Mohamed Harari, a spokesman for the National Oil Corporation (NOC), said restarting exports will take at least two days depending on available crude. Restarting Ras Lanuf would be a major boost for Libya’s oil industry. The terminal, along with the major eastern oil port Es Sider, has been under force majeure since December due to fighting between rival factions. Libya’s internationally recognized government in Tobruk criticized the decision to lift force majeure, claiming that the area remains unsafe. [Reuters, Libya Monitor (subscription), 7/7/2015]

Egypt halts cotton imports in bid to boost local crop
Egypt has halted all cotton imports in a bid to assist the production and marketing of its local crop, signaling a change of course just six months after announcing an end to support for its farmers. “The decision aims to protect local production of cotton and resolve its marketing problems,” the ministry said in a statement. The ministry had halted all state support for cotton growers in January and told farmers not to grow cotton unless they had contracts in place to sell it. The halt in imports is stirring fears that the country’s textile industry could end up paying the price, as it is highly dependent on imported short-staple cotton, a crop rarely grown in Egypt. [Reuters, Ahram Online, DNE, 7/7/2015]

Also of interest
Gulf markets soft on weak Asian bourses, oil | Reuters
UAE economy to grow at 3.8 percent in 2015 | Gulf News
Oman to build solar plant to extract oil | WSJ
Egypt stocks sink to fifteen month-low | Reuters/Ahram Online
Egypt’s fragile economic recovery (analysis) | Zawya
Tunisia’s inflation drops to 5 percent in June | TAP/All Africa
Tunisians’ economic confidence hurt after March attack | Gallup
Libyan investment fund seeks management right amid freeze | Reuters