Sunday, March 4, 2018

Iraq’s Oil Revenues Slightly Dip In February 2018


After reaching the highest oil profits in more than two years, Iraq’s revenues dipped a bit in February 2018 due to a slight decrease in exports and the price for its crude.

In February, Iraq’s Oil Ministry exported an average of 3.426 million barrels a day. That was down from January’s 3.49 million, but still above last year’s mark of 3.309 million barrels. The decrease was due to bad weather in southern Iraq, which often delays tankers docking and pipeline leaks. The country’s output always fluctuates.

Iraq’s exports could have been higher but political disputes with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has taken much of Kirkuk’s oil production offline. The Bai Hassan and Avana Dome fields produce around 300,000 barrels a day, but there is no place to send it. Before, much of that output was being sold by the KRG via its pipeline to Turkey. In October 2017, however Baghdad took over the province and refuses to use the Kurds’ pipeline until the differences between the central and regional governments are resolved. There was a plan to truck some of the oil to a refinery in Iran, but threats by the Islamic State in eastern Iraq has put that on hold.

A barrel of Iraqi crude went for $60.14. That was off a bit from January’s $63.29, the highest price it had fetched since November 2014. Still, making over $60 per barrel is a welcomed development for Iraq that was only making around $40 per barrel in 2017, and an even lower price in 2016.

That earned Baghdad $5.77 billion. From November to January it was making over $6 billion a month with a high point of $6.847 billion in January, the most since September 2014.

These figures bode well for the newly passed 2018 budget which is based upon 3.8 million barrels a day of exports at $46 per barrel. 250,000 barrels of that is supposed to come from Kurdistan. Iraq has reached 3.5 million in exports only twice in November and December 2017. It could very well achieve that again this year, but there’s no telling whether that is sustainable due to the natural ebb and flow in exports. The Kurds however, that exported 364,000 barrels a day in February, objected to the budget law because their allocation was cut. Prime Minister Haidar Abadi has been unwilling to make any meaningful compromises with the KRG because he is using them in his election campaign. The projected deficit in oil sales can be made up in part by the fact that oil prices are much higher than $46 per barrel.

Federal Oil Exports, Prices, Revenues 2014-2018
Month
Avg Export (Mil)
Avg Price
Earnings (Bil)
Jan 2014
2.228
$102.37
$7.073
Feb
2.799
$102.05
$7.9
Mar
2.396
$101.03
$7.507
Apr
2.51
$100.69
$7.582
May
2.58
$100.69
$8.077
Jun
2.423
$102.96
$7.47
Jul
2.442
$102.27
$7.8
Aug
2.375
$97.44
$7.172
Sep
2.542
$90.76
$7
Oct
2.461
$81.12
$6.19
Nov
2.51
$70.40
$5.238
Dec
2.94
$57
$5.195
2014 Totals
2.517
$92.39
$7.017
Jan 2015
2.535
$41.45
$3.258
Feb
2.597
$47.43
$3.449
Mar
2.980
$48.24
$3.449
Apr
3.077
$51.70
$4.8
May
3.145
$55.87
$5.447
Jun
3.187
$55.32
$5.289
Jul
3.105
$50.99
$4.908
Aug
3.079
$40.59
$3.925
Sep
3.052
$40.32
$3.725
Oct
2.703
$39.56
$3.29
Nov
3.363
$36.42
$3.66
Dec
3.216
$29.84
$2.92
2015 Totals
3.003
$44.81
$4.094
Jan 2016
3.285
$22.21
$2.262
Feb
3.224
$23
$2.249
Mar
3.287
$28.40
$2.894
Apr
3.363
$33.38
$3.368
May
3.2
$37.78
$3.748
Jun
3.175
$40.36
$3.845
Jul
3.203
$38.28
$3.802
Aug
3.229
$29.24
$3.928
Sep
3.276
$38.89
$3.822
Oct
3.384
-
$4.426
Nov
3.47
$40
$4.216
Dec
3.52
-
$5.074
2016 Totals
3.302
-
$3.625
Jan 2017
3.321
-
$5.002
Feb
3.270
-
$4.514
Mar
3.258
$47.18
$4.766
Apr
3.253
$47.27
$4.607
May
3.261
$47
$4.623
Jun
3.273
$42.07
$4.144
Jul
3.230
$43.80
$4.386
Aug
3.216
-
$4.608
Sep
3.24
-
$4.882
Oct
3.346
$52.59
$5.456
Nov
3.502
$59.19
$6.021
Dec
3.535
$59.35
$6.504
2017 Totals
3.309
-
$4.959
Jan 2018
3.49
$63.29
$6.847
Feb
3.426
$60.14
$5.77

SOURCES

Aboulenein, Ahmed and Rasheed, Ahmed, “UPDATE 2-Iraqi parliament approves budget, Kurdish lawmakers boycott vote,” Reuters, 3/3/18

Lando, Ben, “February exports climb, despite hurdles,” Iraq Oil Report, 3/1/18

Van Heuvelen, Ben, Lando, Ben, Kullab, Samya, “Kirkuk oil still hostage to political stalemates,” Iraq Oil Report, 3/1/18


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