Iraq Slashes US Oil Prices, Defying Saudi Price Trend

By Serene Cheong and Sharon Cho upon 09/14/2021

(Bloomberg) – Iraq slashed the price of its flagship crude for American customers, a bold departure from what Saudi Arabia chose to do with its own barrels just days ago.

The nation’s Basrah Light barrels will be sold at a discount of $ 1.15 per barrel to a regional benchmark in October for buyers in the Americas, according to a price list from Iraq’s state oil trading company. That compares with a small premium – 15 cents a barrel – against the same September score.

The move is striking because, like many Middle Eastern countries, Baghdad rarely differs much from what Saudi Arabia does when it comes to pricing. But earlier this month, the kingdom kept its own flagship crude, Arab Light, with a premium of $ 1.35 a barrel for October, unchanged from September.

Iraq cut prices for buyers everywhere, with the exception of Kirkuk barrels sold from a port on the Mediterranean Sea. Those were unchanged. Oil production in the US Gulf of Mexico declined sharply after Hurricane Ida, which disrupted much of the region’s production.

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