Thursday, December 15, 2011

Iraq’s Oil Exports Slightly Increase In November 2011


Iraq’s oil exports rebounded a bit in November 2011 compared to previous months. From August to October 2011, Iraq’s oil exports saw a slight decline. In November, foreign sales increased, but they were still below the year’s highest figures. Last month saw no major attacks upon the country’s oil infrastructure or bad weather, which could account for the increase. The lack of capacity and bottlenecks however, continued to limit how much the country was able to export.

November 2011 saw Iraq return to over 2.1 million barrels a day in exports after dipping below that mark the month before. Last month, Iraq sold an average of 2.135 million barrels a day. That compared to 2.088 million barrels in October. The southern port in Basra shipped out 1.712 million barrels a day in November, while the northern pipeline to Turkey handled an average of 423,000 barrels. The Oil Ministry claimed that Kurdistan contributed 79,000 barrels a day to that amount, while the Kurds claimed it was more. Approximately 10,000 barrels a day were also trucked to Jordan. In total, Iraq exported 63 million barrels in November, which was down from the 64.8 million sold in October. Last month had one less day however, than October, which accounts for the increase in the daily averages for exports. 52% of Iraq’s petroleum went to Asia, 25% went to the United States, and 23% went to Europe. The Iraqi Oil Ministry provided limited information about its output in November, so nothing was reported about how much Iraqi crude sold for last month, nor how much the country earned. For the previous three months, prices have been hovering at $104 per barrel, while revenues have been from $7.1 billion to $6.6 billion. November’s numbers were probably roughly the same. That illustrates that while 2011 has seen higher production and profits compared to 2010, both have hit a plateau. The cause is the fact that Iraq’s infrastructure is at capacity, and cannot handle the current output rates.

Iraq Oil Exports And Profits 2010-2011

Month
Avg.
Exports
(Mil/
Bar/
Day)
Avg. Price Per Barrel
Revenue (Mil)
Jan. 10
1.92
$73.97
$4.441
Feb.
2.05
$73.04
$4.229
Mar.
1.84
$76.20
$4.351
Apr.
1.80
$79.66
$4.222
May
1.88
$73.85
$4.335
Jun.
1.86
$71.10
$3.889
Jul.
1.82
$71.21
$4.009
Aug.
1.82
$71.43
$3.957
Sep.
2.02
$73.07
$4.428
Oct.
1.91
$77.10
$4.526
Nov.
1.92
$80.59
$4.618
Dec.
1.95
$86.31
$5.222
Jan. 11
2.16
$90.78
$6.082
Feb.
2.20
$98.44
$6+
Mar.
2.15
$107.13
$7.167
Apr.
2.14
$114.26
$7.342
May
2.22
$108
$7.45
Jun.
2.27
$105.16
$7.173
Jul.
2.16
$108.80
$7.3
Aug.
2.19
$104.92
$7.124
Sep.
2.10
$104.89
$6.619
Oct.
2.08
$104.43
$6.742
Nov.
2.13
N/A
N/A


After international companies re-entered Iraq in 2009, the Oil Ministry announced grand, but probably unrealistic plans. It originally said that it wanted to achieve 12 million barrels a day in capacity by 2017. Oil Minister Abdul Karim Luaibi recently said that around 8 million barrels a day might be more realistic. Coming anywhere close to those amounts is dependent upon major construction projects to expand the country’s ports and pipelines. Some of that is supposed to be completed as early as January 2012, but if those plans run into any delays as often happens in Iraq, the country’s oil industry will be stuck at the current level affecting everything from the state budget to programs meant to end joblessness and blackouts since oil revenues fuels almost everything.

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq oil exports up in October after drop,” 11/21/11

AK News, “Iraq reveals exported 63 million barrels of oil last month,” 12/1/11

Allonan, Jafar, “Aging pipes could disrupt Iraq’s efforts to increase oil exports,” AK News, 12/9/11

Hafidh, Hassan, “UPDATE: Iraq Plans To Export 2.75M B/D In 2012 Vs 2.2M B/D 2011-SOMO,” Dow Jones, 11/23/11

Reuters, “Iraq’s oil exports in Nov rise over 2.1m bpd,” 12/1/11

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