Iraq exported near-record amount of crude in March from its southern ports reaching to around 3.286mb/d, up from 3.225mb/d in February, Oil Ministry informed as Al Arabiya reported. Previously, the country had seen record export of 3.37mb/d in November 2015.
Currently, the central government’s all oil exports come from the southern region as its shipments through a northern pipeline to Turkey have been halted. Iraq therefore lacked in export growth partly involuntary due to disruptions on Iraq’s northern pipeline, according to earlier reports by Reuters. The northern pipeline has been carrying around 600,000b/d from the autonomous Kurdistan region and the disputed Kirkuk fields, but has been repeatedly sabotaged in recent months. The flow was most recently halted due to theft.
The same pipeline is also used by the Kurdish Regional Government to export crude from territory it controls in northern Iraq for its own account.
In additional reporting, Al Arabiya wrote that Iraq’s monthly oil revenue has risen by more than 30% to $2.9b, an increase from $2.2b in a total monthly revenue in February. The rise comes despite low global prices that have placed a major strain on the country’s economy as Iraq’s 2016 budget is based on an expected price of oil at $45 per barrel.
Meanwhile, Baghdad has given verbal support to an initiative by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and outside producers to freeze output in an effort to boost prices. Producers are due to meet on April 17th to discuss the plan.