April 23 (UPI) — Iraq brought in nearly $6.5 million last month by exporting an average of nearly 3.5 million barrels of oil per day, the government said Monday.
The Iraqi Ministry of Oil said oil exports for March were around 3.45 million barrels per day, assuming oil was shipped each day of the month. All of the exports recorded by the government were from middle and southern Iraq.
Iraq recorded an average price for oil of $60.11 per barrel in March. The basket of the fourteen different crude oil benchmarks for members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries closed Friday at $70.36 per barrel.
Iraq is party to OPEC’s effort to balance an oversupplied market with production cuts, but its compliance has wavered. Total production from Iraq in March, according to secondary sources reporting to OPEC economists, was around 4.4 million barrels per day, relatively unchanged from the start of the year.
Some of the OPEC members are doing more than they need to under the terms of a production cut arrangement now in its second year. A meeting of a joint committee monitoring the effort said Friday that compliance was above 100 percent. Committee members expressed satisfaction that Iraq was committed to improve its conformity.
Seven of the 14 OPEC members cut production last month and March levels were 590,000 barrels per day below the 32.73 million barrels per day outlined in the original OPEC framework. Libya and Nigeria are exempt for national security reasons.
A report from commodity pricing group S&P Global Platts found that Iraq has been a consistent “back-slider” on the OPEC agreement. The second-largest producer in OPEC, its compliance is around 64 percent.
No oil exports were counted by the government in Baghdad for Kirkuk in northern Iraq. Most of the oil from the north flows over the border through Turkey from territory controlled by the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government.