Thursday, November 29, 2012

October 2012 Saw A Rise in Overall Iraq Oil Exports, But A Drop In Southern Production

For the last four months, Iraq has seen record highs in petroleum exports. Still, the figures for October 2012 missed government targets, and southern Iraq, the workhorse of the country’s energy industry, actually saw a drop in output. The growth that month was actually due to the return of Kurdish oil to Iraq’s foreign sales, and production from some of the smaller and older fields.

October saw another modest improvement in Iraq’s oil sector. There was a 26,000 barrel a day average increase in exports, which reached 2.624 million barrels a day overall. That was up from September’s 2.598 million barrels. That was the highest amount since the 1990s, but didn’t meet the Oil Ministry’s goals. It wanted to reach 2.8 million barrels for the month, and was expecting a large boost from the southern fields. Instead, exports through the southern pipeline in Basra were actually down to 2.172 million barrels a day from 2.178 million the previous month. That was due to a drop in production in the south from 3.235 million barrels in September to 3.035 million in October. All of the major fields there, Rumaila, West Qurna 1, Zubayr, and Halfaya, witnessed declines. That compared to the northern pipeline from Kirkuk to Turkey going from 420,000 barrels a day in September to around 452,000 barrels in October. Total exports for October were 81.3 million barrels, up from 77.8 million in September. The source then of October’s rise was not the south, but the north as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) began exporting once again after it came to a new agreement with Baghdad in September. The Kurds had shut down their exports through the northern pipeline for several months over a payment dispute with the central government. With that seemingly resolved for at least the short term, the Kurds exported 146,000 barrels a day in October. That was up from 113,000 barrels a day the month before. There was also a jump in output from the Kirkuk and Ahdab fields. At the same time, bad weather shut down the southern pipeline for several days in the middle of October. Despite that temporary setback, Iraq has seen four straight months of expansion in its petroleum industry. Exports have not been steady with a dip in February and a second one from May to June. Still, the country has now far surpassed last year’s average of 2.16 million barrels a day in exports with 2.405 million for the first ten months of 2012.

Iraq Oil Exports And Profits 2011-2012
Avg. Price Per Barrel
Revenue (Bil)
Jan. 11
2011 Avg.
Jan. 12

Oil Exports Through Basra 2012
January 1.711 mil/bar/day
February 1.639 mil/bar/day
March 1.917 mil/bar/day
April 2.115 mil/bar/day
May 2.086 mil/bar/day
June 2.085 mil/bar/day
July 2.216 mil/bar/day
August 2.252 mil/bar/day
September 2.178 mil/bar/day
October 2.172 mil/bar/day

Oil Exports Through Kirkuk 2012
January 395,000 bar/day
February 375,000 bar/day
March 400,000 bar/day
April 393,000 bar/day
May 366,000 bar/day
June 318,000 bar/day
July 294,000 bar/day
August 313,000 bar/day
September 420,00 bar/day
October 452,000 bar/day

The boost in production helped with a decline in prices in Iraqi crude. The average price for an Iraqi barrel of crude went from $107 in September to $105.51 in October. The nation was still able to earn $8.578 billion in October compared to $8.371 billion in September, because of the return of Kurdish oil. October’s revenue was the second highest of the year, only being behind April’s $8.795 billion. For two months this year, June and July, prices dropped below $100 a barrel. Tensions in the Middle East however, have kept the valuations above that mark for 18 of the last 20 months, and Iraq has been the beneficiary. It has also been able to increase its output without having any major affect upon international prices.

Iraq can expect to see more incremental increases in its exports for the next several months. The growth may not be consistent from month to month, but at the end of the year, Iraq will see a large overall boost from last year. This is because of new pipelines and two single point mooring points opening in the south, along with Kurdish oil production. At the same time, the country is behind the government’s targets, and may not reach its ambitious goals, because there are some large hurdles with its infrastructure it has to overcome. Still, with the unstable situation in the region, oil prices will remain high at least for the short term providing Iraq with an increasing amount of money to spend on its needs.


Associated Press, “Iraq’s Kurds pledge to raise oil exports in 2013,” 10/22/12
- “Iraq’s oil exports increase 1.1 percent in October,” 11/22/12

Kami, Aseel, “UPDATE 1-Oil exports from Iraq’s Kurdish region rise to 170,000 bpd,” Reuters, 10/4/12

Al-Khayat, Faleh, “Iraq’s oil output slumps by 200,000 b/d in October,” Platts, 11/28/12

Lawler, Alex, “Iraq’s south oil exports head for record in October,” Reuters, 10/19/12

Republic Of Iraq Ministry Of Oil, “Iraq Crude Oil Exports – October 2012,” 11/25/12

Reuters, “Bad weather halts Iraq southern oil exports,” 10/21/12

Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, “Quarterly report to the United States Congress,” 10/30/12


Iraqi Dinar said...

A report issued by an international Atomic Energy characterized the energy aspects in detail and also put a complete analysis on Baghdad’s strengths and weakness of Baghdad.This reports wholly put a complete view on the all field of energy i.e. its strong points and its weak points. In this regard a meeting was arranged and for this letter was sent to owners of the national and global affairs regarding the future of energy in Iraq and demand of Energy in Iraq and emphasizing that global market stability has to do with what Iraq would realize coverage for more than 45 percent of global demand growth.

Joel Wing said...

I think you mean the Internatioanl Energy Agency (IEA), and yes, its report has been widely reported. Personally I think the predictions are a little too optimistic.