Iraq’s crude oil production rose in October and exceeded its quota and compensation target under the OPEC+ agreement, Argus reported on Thursday, quoting state oil marketing firm SOMO.
Oil production in Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer and a regular non-compliant member of the OPEC+ pact, increased to 3.842 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, up by 242,000 bpd compared to September, and slightly above its quota of 3.804 million bpd for August-December.
Considering that Iraq has pledged deeper reductions in its oil production between September and December to compensate for its non-compliance earlier this year, OPEC’s number two exceeded that compensation schedule by 203,000 bpd in October, according to SOMO figures cited by Argus.
Iraq not only increased its oil production in October, but it is also estimated to have boosted its crude oil exports last month.
Iraq exported an average of 2.876 million bpd in October, up by more than 200,000 bpd from September, data from the oil ministry showed, as quoted by Iraq Business News. Adding exports from Kirkuk, in Kurdistan, the daily average stood at 2.968 million bpd.
This boosted the country’s oil revenues—despite low prices—to US$3.43 billion, with the average selling price for Iraqi oil at $38.48 per barrel.
Iraq is one of the most oil-dependent economies, even by OPEC standards, and has seen its budget revenues plummet after oil prices crashed in March.
Oil revenues are critical to Iraq’s budget income, but in recent months Iraq has come under pressure from its fellow OPEC+ partners led by Saudi Arabia to stop cheating on their production quotas and finally start complying with the OPEC+ agreement.
Last week, reports emerged that Iraq was one of three countries likely to oppose a proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia to roll over the 7.7-million-bpd production cuts instead of relaxing them by 2 million bpd from January in light of the current oil price situation and the outlook. Iraq, however, was quick to deny the report: oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael said Baghdad would back any decision OPEC and its partners make on oil production.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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