Iraq’s Southern Oil Exports Hit Record Before OPEC Cuts
Iraq’s oil exports from its southern ports in the Gulf reached a record high in December, just before the country was due to join other major producers in cutting output to help curb a global oversupply.
Shipments from southern ports in Basra Province averaged 3.51 million barrels a day in December, Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said in an e-mailed statement, up from 3.407 million in November. He didn’t disclose figures for exports through Iraq’s northern pipeline network, which typically average about 600,000 barrels a day.
“Achieving this record average will not affect Iraq’s decision to cut output from the beginning of 2017,” Al-Luaibi said. “Iraq is committed to achieving producers’ joint goals to control the oil glut in world markets.”
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a deal on Nov. 30 to pare output by 1.2 million barrels a day in the first six months of 2017 in an effort to shore up prices. Eleven non-OPEC producers agreed in December to weigh in with additional cuts of 558,000 barrels a day. Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer, pledged to cut 210,000 barrels daily day from its October levels.
Iraq nudged its production higher in 2016 and was initially reluctant to join the cuts, asking first for an exemption to help it fight Islamic State militants and then disputing OPEC’s baseline production data. Energy Aspects Ltd. doesn’t expect Iraq to comply with its output quota, the London-based consultant said last week in a note.