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Iraq faces crude marketing challenges

The Mid-East Gulf producer may need to take lessons from its peers to achieve best value in a crowded market

Middle Eastern NOCs have long faced a twin challenge of ever more competitive markets in their traditional East of Suez backyard and the need to squeeze out more revenue from their production. From Oman’s decision in the mid-2000s to make its crude freely tradeable in the spot market to the move several years later by Abu Dhabi’s Adnoc to charge a premium for lifting destination restrictions on some of its cargoes, they have been constantly changing their business models to try to capture greater value from their crude sales. Covid-19 has served only to reinforce the importance of East of Suez, as refining margin weakness forces more closures in the West. So, is the time ripe for more tradi

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