Iraq's oil exports in February fall below planned levels

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Oil Ministry says crude exports averaged 3.225 million barrels a day in February, far below levels planned to provide the nation with badly needed cash for ongoing military operations against Islamic State extremists.

Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said on Tuesday that the exports grossed about $2.2 billion, based on an average price of about $23 per barrel. Iraq's 2016 budget is based on an expected price of $45 per barrel with a daily export capacity of 3.6 million.

January's daily exports averaged 3.283 million barrels, bringing that month's revenues to $2.261 billion.

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. Like other oil exporting countries, Iraq's economy has been severely hit by plummeting oil prices.