ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Oil Ministry announced on Wednesday that national oil exports had risen to 3.466 million barrels of per day (bpd) in April compared to the month before.
According to a ministry statement, exports in April increased by about 89,000 bpd from the 3.377 million recorded in March, with fields in the country’s south, namely in Basra, seeing a jump of about 100,000 bpd in April exports compared to the previous month.
Poor weather in March, mostly heavy rains, led to the halt in the loading of crude oil, Iraqi oil officials had told Reuters at the time.
In the province of Kirkuk, however, exports from oil fields to Turkey’s Ceyhan port dropped to 86,000 bpd from the 99,000 in March. The Oil Ministry did not provide a reason for the decrease in its statement.
The disputed province, claimed by both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the Federal Government of Iraq, has some of the oldest and largest oilfields in the Middle East.
Last week, Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer Ghadhban announced that a delegation from Baghdad would meet with officials from the autonomous Kurdistan Region soon to discuss ongoing disagreements related to oil exports and various budget issues.
Since 2014, Kirkuk’s oil was exported through the Kurdistan Region to Turkey, but shipments were halted after the military takeover by Iraqi forces and Shia militias in the province on Oct. 16, 2017. On Nov. 16, 2018, Baghdad restarted exports of Kirkuk oil to Turkey through the Kurdistan Region’s oil pipeline at a rate of around 50,000 bpd.
Iraq is the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) second-largest producer just after Saudi Arabia and currently has an output below its maximum capacity of nearly five million bpd.
In early January, Baghdad reaffirmed its commitment to cut annual oil production as per an agreement between OPEC and additional non-member states such as Russia – known together as OPEC+ – to curtail global supply and bolster prices.
Editing by John J. Catherine