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Iraq exported an average of 2.876 million bpd last month, 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 $3.43 billion, with the average selling price for Iraqi oil at $38.48 per barrel.
Another source, the Iraq Oil Report, put the average daily exports of Iraqi oil at an even higher figure: 3.277 million bpd, noting that it was the highest daily average since May, and an increase on an average daily of 3.049 million bpd in September.
Last month's 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 information: oil minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael said Baghdad will back any decision OPEC and its partners make on oil production.
Kuwait, one of the other countries mentioned in the report about disagreements, also denied it would go against bigger ally Saudi Arabia on the matter of oil production controls.
Iraq is among the OPEC members most dependent on oil revenues as the country is still recovering from the war with the Islamic State. Others are catching up, however, as prices remain much below their breakeven levels, forcing unpopular austerity measures. One Gulf oil economy—Oman—even plans to introduce an income tax, which would make it unique among the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Iraq, meanwhile, has been drawing the ire of Saudi Arabia with its insufficient compliance with the cuts. OPEC’s number-one had to threaten Iraq with uncontrolled production in case it did not start cutting for real. Since then, Iraq has been catching up, but increased September exports is a bad sign for the oversupplied market as OPEC works elsewhere to bring inventories down.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.