Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Iraq’s Oil Exports Recover in February 2013 After Two-Month Decline


December 2012 and January 2013 saw a large drop in Iraq’s exports from what were record highs in the previous months. Finally, in February, foreign shipments were able to recover, while prices went up as well. Iraq’s oil industry is still at a plateau, which has happened in the last several years.

Tanker docked in southern Iraq. The southern pipeline carries the majority of the country’s exports and saw an increased flow in Feb. 2013 (AFP)

The flow through Iraq’s two major pipelines increased in February 2013. The southern pipeline saw an average of 2.196 million barrels a day in exports, a 103,000 barrel rise from January’s 2.093 million. The northern line to Turkey went from 264,500 in January to 339,200 in February, up 74,700. That was the highest amount through the south since August’s 2.252 million, and through the north since November’s 426,600. Together that meant Iraq exported a total average of 2.53 million barrels a day in February compared to 2.35 million in January. That was a nice recovery since foreign shipments had dropped dramatically from the end of last year. From September to November 2012, Iraq achieved its highest exports numbers since the 1990s. They then went down to 2.3 million barrels a day for December and January. The figures could have been higher, but the dispute over oil contracts led to another breakdown between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government. That led the later to stop shipping through the northern pipeline in December. Instead, the Kurds have been trucking an average of 30,000 barrels a day to Turkey, something the central government considers illegal. Total production for February was at 2.963 million. That is below the benchmark set by the Oil Ministry of 3 million barrels a day. The trend for Iraq over the last several years has been to increase output, then hit a plateau, then up exports, and then level off again. The country is following that pattern right now. From 2009-2010, Iraq averaged 1.895 million barrels a day in exports. That then went up to 2.16 million in 2011. In 2013, new terminals opened in Basra that allowed for a dramatic jump to 2.41 million. Iraq has stayed at that level the last twelve months.


Iraq Oil Exports And Profits 2011-2013
Month
Avg.
Exports
(Mil/
Bar/
Day)
Avg. Price Per Barrel
Revenue (Bill)
Jan. 11
2.16
$90.78
$6.082
Feb.
2.20
$98.44
$6.064
Mar.
2.15
$107.13
$7.167
Apr.
2.14
$114.26
$7.342
May
2.22
$108
$7.45
Jun.
2.27
$105.17
$7.173
Jul.
2.16
$108.79
$7.311
Aug.
2.18
$104.91
$7.124
Sep.
2.10
$104.89
$6.619
Oct.
2.08
$104.04
$6.742
Nov.
2.13
$106.59
$6.833
Dec.
2.14
$106.18
$7.061
2011 Avg.
2.16
$105.00
$6.913
Jan. 12
2.10
$109.08
$7.123
Feb.
2.01
$112.92
$6.595
Mar.
2.31
$117.99
$8.472
Apr.
2.50
$116.79
$8.795
May
2.45
$103.03
$7.831
Jun.
2.40
$90.09
$6.487
Jul.
2.51
$97.14
$7.577
Aug.
2.56
$106.22
$8.445
Sep.
2.59
$107.59
$8.371
Oct.
2.62
$105.51
$8.578
Nov.
2.62
$104.32
$8.200
Dec.
2.34
$103.72
$7.551
2012
Avg.
2.41
$106.20
$7.835
Jan. 13
2.35
$104.92
$7.672
Feb.
2.53
$107.66
$7.644


 
Oil Exports Through Basra 2012-2013
January 2012 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
November 2.122 mil/bar/day
December 2.022 mil/bar/day
January 2013 2.093 mil/bar/day
February 2.196 mil/bar/day

Oil Exports Through Kirkuk 2012-2013
January 2012 393,500 bar/day
February 375,800 bar/day
March 400,000 bar/day
April 393,300 bar/day
May 364,500 bar/day
June 316,600 bar/day
July 300,000 bar/day
August 312,900 bar/day
September 420,000 bar/day
October 451,600 bar/day
November 426,600 bar/day
December 325,800 bar/day
January 2013 264,500 bar/day
February 339,200 bar/day

Iraq’s Avg. Oil Exports 2003-2012
2003 0.79 mil/bar/day
2004 1.47 mil/bar/day
2005 1.36 mil/bar/day
2006 1.50 mil/bar/day
2007 1.66 mil/bar/day
2008 1.84 mil/bar/day
2009 1.90 mil/bar/day
2010 1.89 mil/bar/day
2011 2.16 mil/bar/day
2012 2.41 mil/bar/day

Iraq also benefited from an increase in prices for its petroleum. In February, a barrel of Iraqi crude went for $107.66, compared to $104.92 the previous month. That earned the country $7.644 billion for the month, just around the same amount it made in January, $7.672 billion. Since 2011, Iraq has been making over $100 a barrel twenty-two out of twenty-six months. That’s because of the tensions in the Middle East such as over Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian war, and the Arab Spring.

In February, Iraq made a nice recovery after two months of declining exports. It still has not returned to the record highs it saw at the end of 2012. It is still making hefty profits since prices have remained high for the last two years. The nation could see another big jump this year in exports, because production is increasing slowly, but it has not happened yet.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq oil exports rebound after two-month lull,” 3/21/13

Associated Press, “Bomb Targets Fuel Oil Pipeline in Northern Iraq,” 2/20/13
- “Iraq Gives Go-Ahead for Iranian Pipeline to Syria,” 2/20/13

Platts, “Iraq’s February oil output rises marginally to 2.963 million b/d,” 3/27/13

Press TV, “Bombing hits fuel oil pipeline in Iraq: Oil Ministry,” 2/18/13

Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil, “The Iraqi Ministry of Oil Declares its Export for February 2013,” 3/24/13

Reuters, “Iraqi Kurdistan resumes Turkey truck oil exports,” 2/6/13

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