Iraq oil revenue reaches post-war high

Aug. 25, 2009 at 12:21 PM
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Iraq reached a post-invasion record in terms of oil revenue and exports for the month of July, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry said.

Assem Jihad, a spokesman for Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani, said oil revenue for the country passed $4 billion in July, Iraqi daily Azzaman reports.

"We exported more than 63.1 million barrels in July and earned an average of $64.44 for a barrel," the spokesman said.

Oil from fields in Kirkuk reached a daily production level of 500,000 barrels, bringing 16.9 million barrels to international export markets in July, he said.

Shahristani aims to court international energy companies to tap underexploited oil fields in his country during a seminar Tuesday in Istanbul.

During its first round of post-invasion auction in June, only BP and China National Petroleum Co. moved forward with contracts.

Shahristani said his country learned its lessons from the June auction, seeing the 20-year contracts as a chance for recovery.

Oil companies taking advantage of future auctions will take revenue based on oil production. Most companies take possession of the oil under conventional terms, but the Iraqi government is still without a national hydrocarbon law that provides the legal framework for that type of deal.

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