Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Iraq’s Oil Exports Continue Their Up And Down Trend


Pressure has increased upon Iraq’s oil industry this year. Its northern Kirkuk pipeline has been down since March 2014, and Baghdad and Irbil remain at cross purposes over energy policy. Still exports saw an increase in September, while prices for Iraqi crude declined.

September reversed a drop in exports that had been going on since June. For the month Iraq exported an average of 2.542 million barrels a day. That was up from August’s 2.375 million barrels, which was the second lowest amount of the year. The Oil Ministry had not achieved 2.5 million barrels a day since May. All of this petroleum came from the southern Basra pipeline. The Kirkuk line has been down since it was bombed in March, and now large sections of it are under insurgent control. For the year Iraq has exported an average of 2.477 million barrels, a 91,000 barrel increase from 2013. At the same time, that is just around the same level it was at in 2012 when it exported 2.41 million barrels a month. This is far below what the Oil Ministry was hoping for this year due to its on going dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government over petroleum policy and the insurgent summer offensive.

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
$7.47
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
$8
Jun.
2.40
$90.09
$6.453
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
$7.846
Jan. 13
2.35
$104.92
$7.672
Feb.
2.53
$107.66
$7.644
Mar.
2.41
$103.76
$7.772
Apr.
2.62
$98.70
$7.764
May
2.48
$97.23
$7.477
Jun.
2.32
$97.40
$6.799
Jul.
2.32
$101.00
$7.272
Aug.
2.57
$104.45
$8.356
Sep.
2.07
$104.87
$6.511
Oct.
2.25
$102.57
$7.160
Nov.
2.381
$102.57
$7.324
Dec.
2.341
$102.89
$7.470
2013 Avg.
2.386
$102.33
$7.435
Jan. 14
2.228
$102.37
$7.074
Feb
2.799
$102.05
$8.001
Mar
2.396
$101.03
$7.507
Apr
2.509
$100.69
$7.582
May
2.582
$100.69
$8.077
Jun
2.423
$102.96
$7.470
Jul
2.442
$102.27
$7.742
Aug
2.375
$97.44
$7.172
Sep
2.542
$91.80
$7
2014 Avg.
2.477
$100.14
$7.513

Unfortunately Iraq’s exports recovered when prices were dropping. For the last two months Iraqi crude sold for less than $100 per barrel. In August it went for $97.44 and in September $91.80. Iraqi oil had not dipped below the $100 mark since a three month stint from April to June in 2013. For September, the country earned $7 billion, the lowest of 2014. So far, the Oil Ministry has earned $7.513 billion a month, up from 2013’s average of $7.435 billion.

Iraq’s exports can be expected to continue to fluctuate over the coming months. Bad weather, maintenance work, bottlenecks, and other issues continue to affect the industry. Fortunately production continues to increase. On the other hand, major infrastructure work is years behind schedule threatening long-term output. This is symbolic of Iraq itself. The country has huge room for growth, but because of the lack of security and the bureaucracy this potential may never be realized.

SOURCES

Iraq, Ali Abu, “Exports reverse three-month slide,” Iraq Oil Report, 10/3/14

Lando, Ben, Iraq, Ali Abu, al-Najar, Kamaran, “Exports lag due to violence,” Iraq Oil Report, 9/5/14

Al Mada, “Iraq’s oil exports rise to $ 7.8 billion achieved in July,” 8/5/14

New Sabah, “Iraq’s oil exports decline in August,” 9/20/14

Republic of Iraq Ministry of Oil, “Iraq Crude Oil Exports – August 2014,” 10/4/14

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