Thursday, April 4, 2019

Oil Exports Down But Profits Up For Iraq In March 2019

(Oil Change International)

In March 2019 Iraq experienced the paradox of declining oil exports for the third month in a row, yet its revenues climbed due to an increase in prices.

Last month Iraq exported an average of 3.377 million barrels a day in petroleum. The flow of oil has gone down since December when Iraq reached the mark of 3.726 million barrels. After that it went to 3.649 million in January and 3.621 million in February before hitting 3.377 million in March, the lowest figure since November 2018.

There were two causes for the drop in exports. One was that bad weather hampered the loading of tanker ships in Basra in southern Iraq. The second is a new round of OPEC quotas has led Iraq to cut its production at several state run oil fields in Basra. Five such fields including Majnoon went from producing around 500,000 barrels a day in October 2018 down to 247,000 barrels a day in February.

The monthly export total would have been even lower if the Oil Ministry had not directed more oil through the Kurdish pipeline to Turkey. Exports via that outlet were at 99,000 barrels a day in March, up from 69,000 barrels in January and February.

Despite that revenues increased for Iraq. A barrel of Iraqi crude sold for $63.80 per barrel in March, up from $60.83 in February and $56.15 in January. That was the highest price since October 2018’s $73.38. The result was Iraq earned $6.679 billion, again the most since October. If petroleum prices remain high, which is the goal of the new OPEC policy that can make up for the reduction in exports.

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
3.490
$63.29
$6.847
Feb
3.426
$60.14
$5.770
Mar
3.453
$59.95
$6.418
Apr
3.340
$64.60
$6.502
May
3.489
$69.80
$7.551
Jun
3.521
$69.32
$7.323
Jul
3.544
$69.16
$7.532
Aug
3.583
$69.65
$7.735
Sep
3.56
$74.15
$7.919
Oct
3.478
$73.38
$7.908
Nov
3.377
$61.09
$6.195
Dec
3.726
$52.80
$6.234
2018 Totals
3.498
$65.61
$6.953
Jan 2019
3.649
$56.15
$6.367
Feb
3.621
$60.83
$6.179
Mar
3.377
$63.80
$6.679

SOURCES

Kullab, Samya, “February production falls OPEC cuts begin to bite,” Iraq Oil Report, 3/27/19

Rasheed, Ahmed, “Iraq’s oil exports decline in March amid bad weather, OPEC cuts,” Reuters, 4/1/19

Van Heuvelen, Ben, “Basra export outages dent March oil sales,” Iraq Oil Report, 4/2/19

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