Iraq expands its shipments of crude oil to Spain and certifies the expansion of the mix


Iraq became the main supplier of crude oil to Spain in September, confirming the new rebalancing of the energy mix as a result of the recent price cap on Russian oil and the need to seek suppliers to avoid energy dependence. The recovery of economic activity after the pandemic has led to a increase in imports by 17.9% per yeara value that exceeds the average of the last 5 years and that also derives from the need to fill the storage facilities to face a winter without Russian natural gas.

The republic located in the Middle East was once again, for the first time in two decades, the main source of crude received by our country, which in the ninth month of the year imported 35 different types of crude oil from 20 countries. That of Iraq accounted for 11.4% of the monthly total, up to 557 kilotonnes (kt), followed by Saudi Arabia (11.1% and 541 kt) and Brazil (10.5% and 512 kt). Thus, contracts with Iraqi origin replaced the drop in supply from Nigeriawhose shipments fell by half – from 821 to 399 kilotons – in one month, continuing an annual drop that already stands at 18.9% compared to 2021 shipments.

The political instability that Iraq has been experiencing since the beginning of the century, derived from the war that the country experienced between 2003 and 2011, meant its end as one of the main oil suppliers for Europe and consequently, also for Spain. The last time Iraq was the main importer of crude oil was in November 2002, before the war broke out.

Since then, the weight of their shipments has been declining, before which they looked for alternatives in Libya first and Russia later, which for reasons similar to the Iraqi ones led to the cancellation of contracts. Spanish oil companies have lawyer in recent times for increasing shipments from Nigeriawhich has become a key supplier, and countries such as Brazil, Mexico or the United States.

Higher consumption increases imports

In September, Spain imported 9.4% more oil. Among the countries that have increased their shipments throughout the year are Canada (+67.4%), the United States (+96.8%), Brazil (+152.1%), Saudi Arabia (+30.2 %), Angola (+152%), Algeria (+215%) or Equatorial Guinea (+37.3%), all of them above 1,000 kilotons sent to Spain.

Until the ninth month of the year, the energy mix is ​​dominated by Nigeria, where 13.9% of the total crude comes from; followed by the United States (11.5%), Brazil (9%) and Mexico (8.5%). Behind are Saudi Arabia and Iraq, both with 8.1%, a sign that Middle Eastern and Central American countries have replaced imports from Russia.

On the other hand, the mix has changed negatively for countries such as Russia (-66% per year), Mexico (-31%) or Libya (-23%), although significant amounts continue to be received from the latter two. No movements of crude oil were recorded from Russia during September, continuing the veto that began in April as a joint response by the countries of the European Union to the invasion of Ukraine.


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