• South Oil Company says the drop could hinder efforts to boost production
  • Revenues of $51.6bn are expected in 2015
  • In 2014, revenues were $81.2bn

Iraq’s government is expecting oil revenues of $51.6bn in 2015, 36 per cent less than the $81.2bn recorded in 2014.

The drop in revenues is “hindering production and exportation development” according to Salah Mahdi Abdullah, head of engineering, procurement and projects at state-owned energy firm South Oil Company (SOC).

South Oil Company is expected to account for 79.5 per cent of Iraq’s total production in 2015 Abdullah told a conference in Istanbul on 3 November.

The decline in Iraq’s oil revenues comes after a drop in global crude prices. Brent crude fell from $112 a barrel in June 2014 to less than $50 a barrel in October 2015, significantly reducing income for Iraq’s government, which depends on oil exports for 90 per cent of its total revenues.

While oil revenues have declined, the country’s total oil export volumes have risen steadily since 2013.

Over 2014, the daily average for exports from SOC stood at 2.45 million barrels.

Over the first eight months of 2015 average daily exports were 2.73 million barrels, with average exports in August coming in at 3.02 million barrels a day (b/d).

SOC is targeting exports of more than 7 million b/d by 2020.

Critics of SOC’s expansion plans believe this target is unachievable due to limited existing export facilities and a water shortage that has set back efforts to increase production from maturing oil fields using water injection.

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