October 24, 2017 / 1:24 AM / a year ago

Oil prices inch up, drop in southern Iraq exports supports

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices inched up on Tuesday, supported by declining exports from southern Iraq.

A rainbow is seen over a pumpjack during sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Oil exports from southern Iraq have fallen by 110,000 barrels per day this month, according to shipping data and an industry source, adding to the drop in flows caused by a shortfall from the northern Kirkuk fields when Iraqi forces retook control from Kurdish fighters who had been there since 2014.

The drop in northern Iraqi shipments has supported global oil prices in recent days. But southern exports, the outlet for most of the country’s crude, have been stable in recent months, making the decline unexpected.

London Brent crude for December delivery LCOc1 was up 6 cents at $57.43 a barrel by 0055 GMT after settling down 38 cents on Monday.

U.S. crude for December delivery CLc1 was up 3 cents at $51.93, having settled up 6 cents.

Crude oil exports through the Iraqi Kurdistan controlled-pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan rose 13 percent to 288,000 barrels per day (bpd) on Monday afternoon, less than half the normal levels, a shipping source told Reuters.

U.S. crude inventories likely fell by 2.5 million barrels last week, while gasoline and distillate stockpiles also probably fell by at least 1.5 million barrels, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of data by the Industry group the American Petroleum Institute later in the day. [EIA/S] [API/S]

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford

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