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Drilling rig in Basra, Iraq
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Basrah Medium gets off to a promising start

Iraq’s new crude grade has had a relatively successful first few months. But Basrah Light issuers remain unresolved

November is typically the busiest month for Middle East NOC marketing teams. Annual term contract negotiations are finalised with customers for the year ahead, with grade nominations and volume requirements thrashed out between both parties. For Iraq, November 2020 was a particularly active period. Notwithstanding its term contact discussions, state oil marketer Somo was also in the throes of launching a five-year prepay tender—which was later abandoned—and a major overhaul of its grade specifications, part of the much-anticipated launch of its new export stream, Basrah Medium (BM). Assay samples were hurriedly prepared and sent to Asian refiner customers and grade nominations were duly re



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