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Iraq Boosts Oil Exports Despite OPEC+ Pledges

Despite promises to keep in line with the OPEC+ pact, Iraq – OPEC’s second-largest producer and biggest laggard in implementing the cuts – slightly raised its crude oil exports in September compared to August.

Iraq exported a total of 78,388,619 barrels of crude last month, according to data from Iraq’s ministry of oil cited by Iraq Business News. This means Iraq’s average crude oil exports stood at 2.613 million barrels per day (bpd) for September, slightly up from the 2.597 million bpd crude the country exported in August.

Iraq received US$3.167 billion from its oil exports in September, at an average price of $40.407 per barrel it exported, the ministry said.

Oil revenues are critical to Iraq’s budget income, but in recent months OPEC’s second-largest oil producer 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.

Iraq promised additional cuts of around 400,000 bpd in August in order to compensate for the lack of compliance with the OPEC+ deal in the previous months.

In August, Iraq did reduce its oil exports – to 2.597 million bpd from 2.763 million bpd, as per the oil ministry data. In September, however, Iraq slightly raised its exports, despite the fact that it has a lot of compensation to do to offset its previous lack of compliance.

Iraq, which has been the least compliant member of the OPEC+ production cut pact since it was first launched in January 2017, has been promising for months that it would reduce its oil production and fall in line with its quota—something it hasn’t done since 2017.

Despite the pledges, Iraq has yet to comply with the production cut deal. Yet, Iraq has improved its compliance with its production quota, the monthly

Reuters survey tracking supply to the market showed earlier this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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