Iraq’s oil export revenues have dropped for the second consecutive month in June, falling by 17 per cent on the back of lower crude prices and lower export volumes.

Iraq exported about 4 million barrels less oil in June compared with May. Revenues totalled $6.487bn in June, down from $7.831bn in May, according to the latest figures released by the Oil Ministry.

The country’s revenue for the first half of the year now stands at just more than $45bn, with an average oil price of $108.32 a barrel and exports of 2.30 million barrels a day (b/d). By this time in 2011, Iraq had earned $41.3bn on its way to a total of more than $82bn.

Despite oil production in Iraq rising to an average of 3 million b/d, exports from the southern port of Basra into the Gulf reached 62.5 million barrels, or 2.08 million b /d, down just 0.5 per cent from May. However, Iraq’s average crude oil prices in June dropped to just $90.097 a barrel, the first time they have fallen below $100 a barrel this year, and the first time since February 2011. Iraq’s average oil price in May was $103.1 a barrel.

The lower export figures could also be down to increased domestic demand for refined products, such as fuel oil to run the generators to cope with Iraq’s summer as its power sector has failed to meet demand.

Exports from the north through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline also dropped to only 874 million barrels, or 317,000 b/d from 365,000 b/d in May. This is the lowest level since July 2010, when the export line was disrupted by sabotage.

There are was also no exports from the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, which halted their contribution in early April after a dispute with Baghdad over the payment of contractors working in the region.