Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Iraq’s Oil Exports Continue To Climb In May 2019, While They Stoke Political Controversy

(US Army)

After Iraq’s oil exports dipped in March due to bad weather they have recovered. May saw the second month of growth in both the flow of oil and revenues. This was despite a slight dip in prices. At the same time, the oil industry has become a political football once again.

In May Iraq exported a total of 110,736,670 barrels of oil. That averaged out to 3.572 million barrels a day. That was up from 3.377 million barrels in March and 3.466 million barrels in April. It’s still below the 3.6 million that was seen in January and February.

The reason for the growth was an expansion in exports from both Basra and to Turkey. The flow of oil through Basra went from 3.354 million in March down to 3.256 in April and then up to 3.441 in May. Likewise, exports using the Kurdish pipeline to Turkey went from 99,000 in March to 86,000 in April and then 102,000 in May.

Basra
March 3.354 mil/bar/day
April 3.256 mil/bar/day
May 3.441 mil/bar/day

Kirkuk
March 99,000
April 86,000
May 102,000

Iraqi crude sold for $66.68 per barrel in May, down from $67.41 in April. The slight dip was probably due to President Trump saying he didn’t want relations with Iran to continue to escalate. That didn’t hurt Baghdad’s revenues however. It made $7.384 billion in April, the highest amount since $7.9 billion in October 2018 due to the rise in exports.

While that was good news for Iraq’s budget, petroleum has once again become a political issue in the capital. Shiite parties are complaining that the Kurdistan government (KRG) has not met its obligations under the 2019 budget to export 250,000 barrels a day for the Oil Ministry. As a result, parliamentarians are calling for Baghdad to cut payments to Kurdistan. At the same time the central government has three lawsuits against the KRG. There are two over the KRG’s independent oil exports with one against the Kurds and the other against Turkey, and the third is for control of the Khurmala Dome oil field in Kirkuk. Prime Minister Adil Mahdi has acknowledged the problem, but has been unwilling to take up the budget issue for now. He is weak politically and doesn’t want to start a fight with the Kurds when he is already dealing with the fractious Shiite parties. Any new dispute would also disrupt oil exports when Iraq is trying to boost them to gain more influence in OPEC and earn more money after suffering huge budget deficits requiring borrowing for the last few years.

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
Apr
3.466
$67.41
$7.011
May
3.572
$66.68
$7.384

SOURCES

Chomani, Kamal, “Oil dispute reignites Baghdad-Erbil tensions,” Al Monitor, 5/29/19

Iraq Oil Report, “Baghdad-Kurdistan oil disputes flare up in Parliament,” 5/24/19
- “Iraq’s North Oil Co. sues to take Khurmala back from KRG,” 5/29/19

Al Mirbad, “Oil: May revenues amounted to 7 billion and 384 million dollars,” 6/1/19

Reuters, “Iraq’s total oil exports rise to 3.572 mln bpd in May – ministry,” 6/1/19


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