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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Iraq says oil exports stand at $ 11 billion in March, the highest in 50 years

Iraq’s oil ministry says it has exported more than 100 million barrels to $ 11.07 billion in revenue, the highest since 1972.

Iraq’s oil ministry says it exported $ 11.07 billion worth of oil in March, the highest level in 50 years, as crude oil prices skyrocketed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The record oil exports, which account for more than 90 percent of Iraq’s revenues, are a major boost to the state coffers.

The second largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iraq, “exported 100,563,999 barrels for revenue of $ 11.07 billion, the highest revenue since 1972,” the ministry said.

The figures released late Friday are preliminary data, but final data “usually do not differ much”, a ministry official said, on condition of anonymity.

In February, oil revenues reached an eight-year high of $ 8.5 billion, with daily exports of 3.3 million barrels of oil.

Oil revenues are critical to Iraq’s government, with the country plunged into a financial crisis and in need of funds to rebuild infrastructure after decades of devastating war.

Iraq, with a population of about 41 million people, is also struggling with a major energy crisis and regularly suffers from power outages.

Despite its enormous oil and gas reserves, Iraq remains dependent on imports to meet its energy needs.

Neighboring Iran currently supplies a third of Iraq’s gas and electricity needs, but supplies are regularly cut or reduced, exacerbating daily load shedding.

Crude oil prices have risen due to fears of a major supply shortage after Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russia is the world’s second largest exporter of oil to Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, the OPEC group of oil-producing countries and its Russia-led allies agreed on another modest increase in oil output, which ignored Western pressure to increase production significantly as the Ukraine conflict shook prices.

The 13 members of Saudi-led OPEC and 10 countries led by Russia – a group known as OPEC + – supported an increase of 432,000 barrels per day in May, marginally higher than in previous months.

The United States has urged OPEC + to boost production as high energy prices have contributed to rising inflation around the world, which has threatened to seriously derail the recovery from the COVID pandemic.

While OPEC refused to back down, Washington said it would utilize its strategic stock at a record rate in an effort to cool rising prices.

The international benchmark contract, Brent North Sea crude, flanked a record high in early March when it rose to almost $ 140 a barrel, but has since retreated.

On Friday, oil was about $ 100 a barrel.

World Nation News Desk
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