Apr 25 2012
By Ali Shattab
Azzaman, April 25, 2012
Iraq’s oil exports in April surpassed the monthly export rate shipped abroad in the years since 1989, Oil Ministry spokesperson Asem Jihad said.
It is the first time in more than 20 years Iraq’s exports as many as 71.8 million barrels of oil in month, said Jihad.
Jihad said it was also the first time the country’s monthly oil exports exceed those prevalent in 1989, a year before the U.N. slapped punitive sanctions on Iraq for invading Kuwait.
April oil exports brought Iraq $8.47 billion, also the largest hard cash sum Iraq earns in one month since1989.
The lion’s share of the country’s exports came from the province of Basra, with 59.4 million barrels.
The northern fields Iraq exported 12.4 million barrels in the same month.
Jihad gave no figures on the volume of exports from the semi-independent Kurdish north.
The Kurds are supposed to ship their oil through Iraqi national pipelines across Turkey and to export terminals on the Mediterranean.
The Kurds have suspended exports due to differences on distribution of royalties. Baghdad says the Kurds are illegally shipping their oil via Iran, denying the national treasury billions of dollars a year. The Kurds deny the charge.
After years neglect and low output, Iraq’s oil sector is rising once again with higher output and export figures predicted in the near future.
This year Iraq is expected to earn up to $100 billion from its oil exports, almost the sole source for the country’s hard cash.
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