Exports from Iraq’s Southern Oilfields Hit Record 3.535 Million Bpd In December
Crude oil exports from Iraq’s southern Basra ports rose to a record high of 3.535 million barrels per day (bpd) in December, two oil officials said.
Southern oil exports are on the rise as the government of Iraq seeks to offset the halting of the shipments from Kirkuk oilfields in mid-October after the Iraqi security forces retook control of fields from Kurdish forces.
An oil official told Reuters on Monday (January 1) that rising output from small oilfields developed by the state-run Basra Oil Company helped push up exports in December.
“Our plan is to keep boosting exports from the southern oilfields to make up for the lost Kirkuk shipments,” another oil official with the state-run Basra Oil Company told Reuters.
The increase in December has not completely offset the halt of shipments from the north, Reuters reported.
The last month’s figure for oil exports in the south beat the previous record of 3.51 million bpd set in December 2016.
Iraq is a founding member of the OPEC cartel and its second largest producer after Saudi Arabia, but currently only exports about 4.8 million bpd. Baghdad aims to increase oil exports to 5 million bpd.