Iraq's oil exports in February were below planned level

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Oil Ministry says crude exports averaged 2.596 million barrels a day in February, far from levels planned to provide the nation with badly needed cash for ongoing military operations against Islamic State extremists.

Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said on Wednesday the exports grossed about $3.402 billion, based on an average price of $46.795 per barrel. Iraq's 2015 budget is based on an expected price of $56 per barrel with a daily export capacity of 3.3 million.

January's daily exports averaged 2.535 million barrels, bringing that month's revenues to $3.258 billion.

Jihad blamed bad weather in the country's southern facilities on the Persian Gulf for the exports' dip.

Iraq holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves, some 143.1 billion barrels. Oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of Iraq's budget.