Iraq released full statistics for its August 2010 oil production. In total, the country had an output of 55.4 million barrels last month. That earned $3.9 billion at an average price of $71.43 per barrel. That was an increase from July when a barrel went for $71.21, but Iraq produced 900,000 fewer barrels in August, resulting in approximately $100 million in lost profits.
Iraq's oil industry has been declining since the end of 2009. In December the country produced 61.3 million barrels. That dropped to a low of 53.0 million in April, before recovering a little to 58.7 million in May. In the next three months it produced less than that amount. This is part of the fluctuations that have occurred since 2003 with output constantly going up and down every couple months due to technical problems, bottlenecks, and attacks. At the same time, prices have been dropping since reaching a yearly high of $79.66 in April 2010. For the last three months a barrel of Iraqi crude has been going for just around $71. This temporary stagnation has been caused by concerns about the world economy.
Iraq currently lacks the infrastructure and know how to boost output. It's hoping that the oil deals that it signed in 2009 with international companies will eventually quadruple production. That will be a gargantuan task as Iraq's petroleum business is in such a poor state after years of wars and sanctions. That's the reason why many believe Iraq's progress will be much slower than what the Oil Ministry is hoping for, and it may never reach the levels it has set for itself.
Monthly Earnings/Prices/Total Production
|Month||Total Oil Earnings||Price Per Barrel||Total Oil Production|
|Dec. 09||$4.4 bil||$73.39||61.3 mil bar|
|Jan. 10||$4.4 bil||$73.97||59.7 mil bar|
|Feb.||$4.2 bil||$73.40||57.9 mil bar|
|Mar.||$4.3 bil||$76.20||57.1 mil bar|
|Apr.||$4.2 bil||$79.66||53.0 mil bar|
|May||$4.3 bil||$73.85||58.7 mil bar|
|Jun.||$3.8 bil||$71.10||54.7 mil bar|
|Jul.||$4.0 bil||$71.21||56.3 mil bar|
|Aug.||$3.9 bil||$71.43||55.4 mil bar|
Agence France Presse, "Iraq oil exports slightly down in August: ministry," 9/23/10