ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Crude production and exports in Iraq are continuing normally despite nationwide anti-government protests, which have led to blockages of oilfields and key ports, government sources and officials say.
A report by S&P Global Platts on Wednesday indicated that crude exports from Iraq’s southern terminal are at 3.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, up from 3.45 bpd in October.
Earlier this week, Iraq’s oil ministry said overall crude production in October averaged 4.58 bpd.
“No harm at all on production,” an anonymous source was quoted as saying in S&P Global Platts’ report. “All precautions are taken.”
Iraq has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and is the second-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). However, its citizens suffer from extreme poverty and high unemployment rates, which has led to ongoing protests across the country.
Demonstrators in Iraq are calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.
The protests over the past month reflect widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, a call for more jobs, the dismal state of public services, and widespread government corruption.
Since they began in early October, widespread protests in Iraq have resulted in the deaths of at least 300, while some 12,000 have been injured, according to Iraq’s High Commission for Human Rights.