Iraqi oil export value surged in the first half of the year

The country's oil minister said Tuesday that Iraq realized an average price of oil last month that was more than 60 percent higher than last year.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  July 10, 2018 at 9:08 AM
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July 10 (UPI) -- The surge in oil prices over the last year resulted in a net gain of $13 billion for oil exported from Iraq in the first half of the year, the government said.

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi said the country realized $40.3 billion from crude oil exports in the first half of the year, compared with $27.6 billion during the first half of 2017. The minister said the country saw a price of oil average $69.32 last month, up from $42.07 from June 2017.

Iraq is the second-largest producer among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, behind Saudi Arabia. Secondary sources reported to OPEC economists said Iraq produced 4.4 million barrels of oil per day in May, up about 27,000 barrels per day from the previous month. OPEC figures will be updated on Wednesday.

Iraq has been among the least compliant with production cuts agreed to by OPEC members. Algeria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates produced more than allotted under the terms of the agreement, according to the latest figures from S&P Global Platts.

Platts found that Iraq has been a consistent "back-slider" on the OPEC agreement.

Estimates provided by Platts included output from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Most of the oil from the north flows over the border through Turkey from territory controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Luaibi said Tuesday that Iraq exported about 625 million barrels of oil during the first half of the year, compared with 592 million barrels over the same period in 2017. Gains, he said, would help support the federal budget and offset a deficit.

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