Iraq’s crude oil exports averaged 1.823 million barrels a day (b/d) in June, down 4 per cent from 1.9 million b/d in May, according to data released by the Oil Ministry.

With the average price for Iraqi crude in June at $71.10 a barrel, the country earned almost $3.9bn in revenues, a fall of 10.3 per cent on May revenues.  

An average of 1.44 million b/d was exported from Iraq’s southern oil terminals on the Gulf, down 20,000 b/d from 1.46 million b/d in May. Exports from Iraq’s northern fields delivered by the Kirkuk to Ceyhan pipeline totalled about 373,000 b/d during the month, a drop of 13 per cent. Some 10,000 b/d was transported by truck across the southwestern border to Jordan.

The Oil Ministry attributes much of the drop in exports to bad weather in the south of the country and repeated attacks on the northern pipeline.

Iraq’s oil exports have netted the country $25.49bn so far this year. The Oil Ministry hopes to increase oil production by 600,000 b/d in 2011 to 3.1 million b/d.

Much of this will come from the development of Iraq’s largest producing oil field, the 17 billion barrels Rumaila oil field in the south of the country. The partners on the field, the UK’s BP and China National Petroleum Corporation, hope to raise production by 13.6 per cent by the end of the year to 1.12 million b/d from the current 1.03 million b/d (MEED 14:7:10).

Increasing production will have to be done in step with the country’s export capacity. Earlier in July, US-based Foster Wheeler was awarded a project management and consultancy deal for the Iraqi Crude Oil Export Expansion Project. The four-year project will boost export capacity from 1.6 million b/d to 4.5 million b/d by 2014.