Iraq has finally published details on its oil production and the $41.3bn in revenue it received from crude exports in 2009, as part of its implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

The revenues are published in Iraq’s first EITI Report, a significant step towards transparency in its all-important oil sector, says Clare Short, chair of the international EITI board, based in Oslo in a 9 January press release.

The Iraq EITI report contains a comparison and reconciliation of the oil volumes from oil-producing companies with oil exports from the Oil Ministry. State Oil Marketing Organization (Somo) sold oil to 34 international oil companies. Asia is the main destination of Iraqi oil, accounting for 47 per cent of total Iraqi exports.

The largest single buyer of Iraqi oil was Indian Oil Corporation, which took almost $4.7bn-worth of oil, followed by the US’ Chevron, which bought $3.4bn.

Oil exports in 2009 totalled 695 million barrels, earning the country $41.3bn. This is about 40 per cent of Iraq’s GDP, 65 per cent of the federal budget and 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings. In 2010, exports revenues rose to $52.2bn.

According to the latest data reported by the Oil Ministry, Iraq earned $75.9bn in the year up to November 2011, with oil prices averaging $104.9 a barrel over the year. Oil revenues in 2010 by comparison reached only $52.2bn (MEED 28:12:11).

All oil export revenues in Iraq are deposited into a UN-backed Oil Proceed Receipt Account (OPRA) at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. The third reconciliation of revenues for the report covers the data from Central Bank of Iraq and the Federal Reserve Bank. However, the EITI complains this could not be completed as the Federal Reserve would not provide the required data, despite repeated requests.