Baghdad (Times Of Ocean)- As oil prices soared amid shortage fears following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Iraqi oil exports (one of the largest OPEC producers) have hiked by $11.07 billion worth of oil last month, the highest in half a century.
As the second largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Iraq has exported “100,563,999 barrels for revenues of $11.07 billion, the highest revenue since 1972”, according to the Iraqi oil ministry.
On the anonymous source by the ministry, an official declared that although the numbers published Friday are preliminary, final data was not expected to vary much.
Oil revenues reached an eight-year high of $8.5 billion dollars in February, with daily exports of 3.3 million barrels.
Iraq’s income comes almost entirely from oil exports.
After Moscow invaded Ukraine on February 24, crude prices spiked due to fears of a supply shortage. After Saudi Arabia, Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter.
As the Ukraine conflict has rocked oil prices, the OPEC group of oil-producing countries and its Russian partners agreed to a modest increase in oil output on Thursday, despite Western pressure to boost production significantly.
OPEC+, a group of 13 OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia and 10 countries spearheaded by Russia, backed an increase of 432,000 barrels per day in May, marginally more than previous months.
The United States has urged OPEC+ to increase production, as high energy prices have contributed to soaring inflation across the globe, which has threatened to derail the recovery from the Covid pandemic.
OPEC refused to budge, but Washington said it would tap its strategic stockpile by a record amount in an effort to cool soaring prices.
Brent North Sea crude flirted with a record high in early March as it rose to almost $140 per barrel, but since then it has retreated.
Oil was around $100 a barrel on Friday.
Iraq’s government needs oil revenue to rebuild its infrastructure after decades of war and a financial crisis.
Iraq, with a population of 41 million, is also facing a major energy crisis and suffers from frequent power outages.
Iraq remains dependent on imports for its energy needs, despite its vast oil and gas reserves.
Currently, Iran provides a third of Iraq’s gas and electricity needs, but supplies are regularly cut or reduced, increasing daily power cuts.