Iraqi oil exports up in July

Oil leaving through southern Iraqi ports.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Aug. 4, 2014 at 10:25 AM
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BAGHDAD, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Though exports from a northern pipeline are idled, the Iraqi government said Monday its oil exports for July were higher than the previous month.

Assim Jihad, a spokesman for the Iraqi Oil Ministry, said southern ports exported 75.7 million barrels of oil in July and brought in close to $8 billion for the Iraqi economy.

Iraq exported 72.8 million barrels of oil from southern ports in June. The pipeline from the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk to the Turkish port city of Ceyhan has been closed because of terrorist threats since May.

Iraqi oil exports so far this year peaked at 80 million barrels in May. A Sunni-led insurgency emerged shortly afterward, putting pressure on the central government in Baghdad.

The U.S. State Department said it was monitoring a new push by the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the northwestern Iraqi border town of Sinjar.

"The ISIS assault over the past 48 hours on territories along the border of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and focusing on towns and villages populated by vulnerable minorities, demonstrates once again that this terrorist organization is a dire threat to all Iraqis, the entire region, and the international community," the department said Sunday.

ISIS is said to be drawing funds from pilfered oil. The Iraqi Oil Ministry said Sunday it welcomed international statements condemning the purchase of oil from ISIS and its affiliates in the region.

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