Iraq’s oil industry has never had steady output, and constantly goes up and down. So far this year, Iraq is average 2.40 million barrels in overall production, the second highest since 2003, while exporting 1.89 million barrels, marking a post-invasion high. Both are below marks set by the Oil Ministry and 2009 budget however. The Ministry wanted to achieve 2.50 million barrels a month this year, which was only achieved in September and October. The 2009 budget called for 2.00 million barrels in exports each month. That only happened in July, 2.08 million barrels, and August, 2.00 million barrels. This has led to a deficit, which is going to continue into next year, especially because the new budget calls for 2.15 million barrels of exports per day. Iraq’s economy is still largely state-run, and relies upon oil for almost all of its revenue, so these deficits are holding up reconstruction and development of the country. The first two rounds of bidding on Iraq’s oil fields will not help in the short-term either as the new production is not likely to come on line for several years.
Monthly Averages of Iraqi Oil Production/Exports in Millions of Barrels Per Day
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, “Iraq Status Report,” U.S. Department of State, 12/16/09
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly Report to the United Sates Congress,” 10/30/09