AFP
Last updated: 20 October, 2011

Iraq oil exports in September lowest in seven months

Iraq’s oil exports and income in September were the lowest since February as pumping along the Ceyhan pipeline to Turkey dropped off due to multiple stoppages, figures published on Thursday showed.

The country exported a total of 63.1 million barrels of oil last month at an average price of $104.90, bringing in total income of $6.619 billion (4.819 billion euros), according to figures published on the oil ministry website.

Both the export and income figures were the lowest since February, mostly due to a substantial decline in exports along the pipeline connecting northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan in September to 10.1 million barrels, down from 14.3 million barrels in August.

“Exports on the Ceyhan pipeline were lower in September because of a couple of stoppages and attacks targeting the pipeline last month,” ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said.

The pipeline transports an average of 450,000 to 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day to Ceyhan.

Iraq depends on oil sales for the lion’s share of government income, and had averaged daily exports of 2.19 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first eight months of the year. In September, that fell to 2.10 million bpd.

In February, Iraq approved a national budget that was based on oil prices of $76.50 per barrel and average exports of 2.2 million bpd. Partly as a result of higher oil prices, Iraq’s cabinet has targeted a 36 percent boost to public spending, in a budget proposal outlined last month.